GAA president John Horan plays down fixture clash with World Cup final

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GAA president says 'true fans' will head to Croke Park rather than watch World Cup final

GAA president John Horan has defended the decision to stage Sunday's Super 8 game between Kerry and Galway at the same time as the World Cup Final.

The Croke Park game and the World Cup decider between France and England or Croatia both start at 16:00 BST.

"We can't kind of legislate for these kind of things happening," said Horan.

"It if was two countries that had no connection with Ireland whatsoever in the World Cup final, I wonder would people have any interest in it?"

The Dubliner, who took up the GAA presidency at the association's annual congress in February after winning a vote last year, added that "true Galway and Kerry supporters will turn up in Croke Park".

With the GAA's intercounty championship calendar being brought forward by a number of weeks from this year with the intention to prioritise club football during September, the GAA's room for manoeuvre in arranging fixtures dates during the remainder of the summer is restricted.

However, it seems inevitable the clash between Sunday's double-header at Croke Park, which also sees Kildare facing Monaghan at 14:00, and the World Cup final will affect the attendance at headquarters.

The Super 8s series starts on Saturday evening at Croke Park as Roscommon face Tyrone and All-Ireland champions Dublin take on Donegal.

The busy intercounty calendar also means that two All-Ireland Hurling quarter-finals take place this weekend with Clare facing Wexford at Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Saturday before Sunday's game at 14:00 between Kilkenny and Limerick at Thurles.

Also speaking at a media event in the Aran Islands to promote this weekend's first ever Super 8 games, Kerry's Shane Enright and Galway's Damien Comer both played down the fixture clash with the Moscow final.

"It (the World Cup final) comes round once every four years and people like to watch the soccer as well so it might mean there mightn't be the same crowd in Croke Park because people will stay at home and flick between both on TV but it doesn't bother me too much," said Enright.

Comer added: "I wouldn't be a massive, massive soccer fan although obviously I'd have watched a few games during it. I wouldn't go out of my way to watch it."

The kick-off time for the World Cup final was confirmed last September.

The 2006 National League meeting between Tyrone and Dublin was dubbed 'The Battle of Omagh'
The 2006 National League meeting between Tyrone and Dublin was dubbed 'The Battle of Omagh'

Super 8s series finalised

The Super 8s meeting between Donegal and Tyrone will take place on Sunday, 5 August at MacCumhaill Park in Ballybofey with a 15:30 BST throw-in after the fixture details for the second and third rounds were released.

The two Ulster sides have already played twice this year, with Donegal ending Tyrone's six-year dominance of the Dr McKenna Cup in February but the Red Hands avenged that loss with a comfortable win over Declan Bonner's team in their National League meeting in Omagh.

The much-anticipated meeting of Tyrone in Dublin at Healy Park, a repeat of the infamous 'Battle of Omagh' encounter between the two counties in 2006, will take place on Saturday, 21 July at 19:00 BST.

Monaghan's sole home fixture of the Super 8s series will see the Farneymen host Kerry at St Tiernach's Park, Clones on Sunday, 22 July at 16:00 BST.

All-Ireland Super 8s second round
RoscommonvDonegalDr Hyde Park, 17:00 BSTSaturday, 21 July
TyronevDublinHealy Park, 19:00 BSTSaturday, 21 July
KildarevGalwayNewbridge, 14:00 BSTSunday, 22 July
MonaghanvKerrySt Tiernach's Park, 16:00 BSTSunday, 22 July
All-Ireland Super 8s third round
KerryvKildareKillarney, 18:00 BSTSaturday, 4 August
GalwayvMonaghanPearse Stadium, 18:00 BSTSaturday, 4 August
DublinvRoscommonCroke Park, 15:30 BSTSunday, 5 August
DonegalvTyroneBallybofey, 15;30 BSTSunday, 5 August

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