Aviva College Football Classic must be cancelled immediately to avoid confusion and false hope - Chris Andrews TD
Sinn Féin TD Chris Andrews has said that the College Football Classic still scheduled to take place in the Aviva stadium in August must be postponed in the interest of public health, similar to the rest of the sporting calendar which has been rescheduled due to the COVID-19 emergency.
The Dublin Bay South TD said that it is clear that there is no way that it will be safe for this to proceed and that a decision to cancel it must be taken immediately to avoid more confusion, mixed messages and false hope for people from the United States looking forward to travelling to these shores for the event.
Deputy Andrews said:
"Understandably many people across the world of sport are disappointed that fixtures and events have been cancelled and postponed due to the current COVID-19 crisis.
"However, while the College Football Classic scheduled for August does not fall into the traditional category of licensing for sporting events, the risk of allowing crowds of upwards of 30,000 people to mass together poses too great a risk given the current risk posed.
"The local community has shown great spirit to bring such an event into Dublin Bay South and to offer such support for it, but public health and wellbeing must be our top priority at this time.
"It is clear that there is no way that it will be safe for this event to proceed in August, so a decision to cancel it must be taken immediately or you risk confusion, giving people mixed messages and raising false hope once again.
"We saw the impact that the large crowd attending the Cheltenham racing festival had on public health last month. We cannot afford to take such risks at such a critical stage of this pandemic when every effort is being made to flatten the curve.
"We also cannot afford to wait until the last minute for a decision to be made on an event of this scale, which usually attracts thousands of visitors coming to our shores from the United States. We are a long way away from such overseas travel being safe.
"Event management must move to postpone the College Football Classic in the Aviva for the interest of public health and safety as soon as possible."