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36K EXPECTED AT SEMI-FINALS; GAA EXTRA.

Byline: AARON O'NEILL

GAA President Larry McCarthy wants to have 36,000 fans at the All-Ireland semi-finals and hopes an even greater number could attend the finals in Croke Park.

This weekend's Leinster SFC semifinals will have 18,000 fans in attendance and McCarthy is hopeful the number will continue to increase.

Speaking on Morning Ireland on RTE Radio One, he said: "We are on the right track, we are seeing participation, we are seeing kids going back into camps, club games up and down the country.

"Hopefully we can keep on it track right through the autumn because we need county championships to be run effectively so our county boards can generate income and we can begin to fund our teams again for next season, for 2022.

"We're now looking at 18,000 in Croke Park next weekend and hopefully we'll ratchet that up to twice that by maybe the All-Ireland semi-finals.

"I'm being hopeful here and maybe even more crowds at an All-Ireland final. It all depends on our ability to stick to public health guidelines and this variant as well obviously. We will continue to be extremely careful." Mayo's rout of Leitrim in the Connacht SFC on Sunday was the latest in a long line of one-sided games in the football Championship but McCarthy isn't overly concerned for now.

"Inevitably when you have an open tier draw like that you're going to have a one-sided contest, you've a tier one team against a tier four team," McCarthy said.

"We are going to have quite a robust debate. The fixtures review committee report is up for discussion at Special Congress. I wouldn't push the panic button yet."

CAPTION(S):

CAPACITY Large crowds could be back by season end

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:AARON O'NEILL
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jul 13, 2021
Words:287
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