The decision to overturn its ban of “foreign” sports means that the GAA is potentially sitting on a goldmine which could bankroll the grassroots of the Association for the years axxording to today’s.
If the Association approves the use of Croke Park next year for competitive and non-competitive rugby and soccer internationals, it will net the GAA over €10m (£6.7m or $13m) in 2008. The indications are that Central Council will ratify up to ten more profile rugby and soccer internationals for Croke Park in 2008.
While agreement on competitive fixtures is likely, there is still some level of opposition within the rank and file GAA membership on handing over Croker for ‘non competitive’ or friendly internationals. However, it is understood that the IRFU and FAI have each pointed that the notion of non-competitive fixtures is a misnomer: rugby “tests” and football “friendlies” are part of a fixture programme, for which countries are ranked accordingly.
To be honest I don’t care for Gaelic Football but Hurling is a great sport (not that I ever actually played it – the consequences of giving me a weapon on a sporting pitch would have been disastrous!). Overcoming well over a century of dogma has been a resounding success and the prospect of lots of money for grassroot development must be an attractive idea.