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Canavan: Give Tyrone another w...

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Canavan: Give Tyrone another week to recover from COVID outbreak


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Tyrone legend Peter Canavan believes it's grossly unfair that the county are being asked to play their All Ireland football semi-final next week. 

The game with Kerry has been deferred until Saturday August 21 following a COVID-19 outbreak in the Tyrone camp.

An unspecified number of players were forced to isolate last week after other members of the panel tested positive for COVID-19.

Tiernan McCann, Richie Donnelly, Frank Burns, Rory Brennan and joint-manager Feargal Logan missed the Ulster final win over Monaghan due to a positive case in the camp.

Despite the delay, Tyrone have raised the prospect of them being unable to fulfil that date with Kerry.

“This is about player welfare," said county chairman Michael Kerr, "and it’s clear that our players will not be ready to engage in a high-intensity Championship game so soon after being directly affected by this virus.”

Tyrone had asked for a two-week delay from Croke Park, a request that was not furnished.

Speaking to The Last Word on Tuesday, Cavanan said the GAA's obstinance is not fair on the Tyrone players.

"When you think about it - with over half the panel having tested positive last weekend - I think the chances of... you know, once you do your isolation, try and get back out to train.

"It's simply asking too much of the players to try and get themselves ready in such a short period of time."

Detriment of their health

17 days are said to be needed for from the start of isolation to being fully fit again to play.

Canavan says Tyrone co-managers Brian Dooher and Feargal Logan have been placed in a no-win situation.

"After the Monaghan game, the number of cases went up," the six-time All Star revealed, "Players were reporting back to their medical staff that they had symptoms.

"Tyrone contacted Croke Park right away to let them know that there was a serious problem developing.

"Croke Park then got in contact with the PHA [Public Health Authority] up here and all players were tested at the weekend.

"And from having a small number of positives prior to the Monaghan game, it's now turned into over half the panel.

"So that was at the weekend. There's nothing to say that there'll not be more players [who] would be testing positive in the coming days.

"It has put Brian Dooher and Feargal Logan in a terrible position whereby, no.1 they've a duty of care to the players and to player welfare.

"And you can be rest assured that for the lads that have come back from their isolation, whether they're feeling well or not or whether they should be out on the pitch, they will be determined to get back out.

"They will be wanting to put themselves in contention for a place against Kerry, and maybe to the detriment of their health.

"I would say, after hearing Michael Kerr's statement and how serious that Tyrone are taking it, I would like to think that Croke Park will reconsider their decision and - at least - give another week.

"And even at that, there's no guarantee that Tyrone will be ready to play, or have a full quota of players.

"But at least by giving another week, you're giving the county the opportunity to partake in an All Ireland semi-final."

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All-Ireland Football Championship Brian Dooher Covid-19 Feargal Logan Kerry Peter Canavan Tyrone

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