Dundalk scaled

Closed-door experiment

Dundalk’s Sean Gannon and Dylan Watts of Shamrock Rovers in action during a league game at Tallaght Stadium, Dublin, on Feb. 28. The two clubs will participate in a behind-closed-doors tournament with Derry City and Bohemians in July. INPHO/CIARAN CULLIGAN

At home the four League of Ireland clubs who have qualified for next season’s European competitions had their players tested for the coronavirus last week and thankfully there were no positive results. Another round of tests is scheduled before the players at the four clubs are due to return to training on June 8. The plan is for the four clubs, Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians and Derry City to participate in a mini tournament on July 20/21 which will effectively function as an experiment to see how behind-closed-doors games can function. It’s expected that players at the top four clubs will have been tested 12 times by that point. The mini tournament will be played at either the Aviva or Tallaght Stadium. With regard to the other six premier division and first division clubs, they have been told they can train collectively from June 29 with a program of regular testing. But there is talk of wage cuts and it’s expected that Government and FIFA help will be required if the proposed Aug. 14 return is to materialize.

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-- Sean Creedon