Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. The GAA has come under fire for supposed arrogance in scheduling Kerry Vs Galway in the All Ireland Quarter Final Series or Super 8’s against the World Cup Final in Moscow.
Both games will throw in at 4 PM and it’s not ideal but what is a sport to do?
The expectation might have been that FIFA would schedule the game in the later slot of 7 PM to maximize European viewing figures but this earlier kick off will be at 6 PM in Moscow, 9 PM in Beijing and 10 AM in Rio which is perhaps more important.
The direct clash could only be avoided by staging the Croke Park game at 6 PM which would mean fans not getting back to Tralee and Killarney until past midnight, causing another major stir of dissatisfaction.
People accuse the GAA of arrogance but all of these elements are factored in before a decision is made and to think of them blindly saying 4 PM is our time and to heck with the world is plainly ridiculous.
The reality is that in a crowded sporting world clashes are inevitable. Being involved with teams and club and juvenile level means that many occasions you might like to see are missed. It happens every day and every week but it does so quietly.
Only when the bigger events come into focus, the ones more likely to attract a casual rather than a totally dedicated fan, do the schedule conflicts come to the attention of a wider media always happy to report on or at times fan the flames of a row.
Kerry and Galway fans, as well as those of the two counties to play at 2 PM that same day have a choice. If you want to be there to support your county, you can be. If you’d rather watch the World Cup you can. If you want a bit of both, each of the games will be broadcast live on RTÉ.
Mayo fans would only love to have that choice for themselves to watch their team on that day.