Sligo refusing to play Connacht U20 football final in Bekan

Sligo are refusing to play next Wednesday evening’s scheduled Connacht under-20 football final against Mayo at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan.

It’s understood the county board’s decision has the backing of the Sligo under-20 players and management.

A Sligo GAA statement published on Saturday evening claims that the Yeats County is entitled to home advantage for this provincial decider, in keeping, Sligo say, with the hosting of championship games at all grades of football in Connacht, including finals, which has rotated between the counties involved for many years.

On the last occasion Sligo played Mayo at U20 level, in 2019, the game was played in Castlebar.

There was, therefore, an expectation in Sligo that it would be entitled to home advantage for next Wednesday’s final – although Ocean FM Sport understands there is no rule as such in the GAA’s Official Guide for this provision to happen.

Wednesday’s final is also due to be televised live by TG4, provided the throw-in time is 7:30pm.

This would provide light issues for certain county grounds such as Markievicz Park in Sligo, which doesn’t have floodlights.

The main outdoor pitch at the GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan does have a floodlight facility.

However, Sligo GAA in its statement said: “Are we seriously now scheduling one of the biggest games of the year in the province to suit the scheduling needs of a television station?

“We would respectfully suggest that TG4 rearrange its schedule for an evening to accommodate the match at an earlier time.”

View the full Sligo GAA statement here

Sligo qualified for the Connacht U20 final thanks to a dramatic one-point victory over Roscommon (1-12 to 1-11) in their semi-final last Wednesday evening at Markievicz Park.