The Camogie fixture controversy continues as clubs across the country seek to have the AIB 2020 Club Championships played this season.
A total of 35 clubs affected wrote to the Camogie Association on Wednesday evening, as they will take the matter to Disputes Resolution Authority to seek a solution.
After a huge backlash to the original calendar, clubs voted in favour of a split season model by 53% to 47, allowing the inter-county series to be played in two blocks before starting the 2021 club series.
But this decision also meant an incomplete 2020 provincial and national club series, which was postponed due to the pandemic.
Earlier this week, clubs had proposed a three-week window where the games could be played. This request was ignored.
The clubs remaining to play are Antrim’s Loughiel, Tiperrary’s Drom and Inch, Thomastown in Kilkenny, Inagh Kilnamona in Clare, Sarsfield of Galway and Oulart the Ballgh based in Wexford.
The statement reads:
“The 35 clubs of Cumann Camogaiochta na nGael that were still involved in the AIB Club Championship 2020 sought to have the championship completed this year 2021.’’
“The Ard Comhairle has cancelled the championship, despite the fact there is a window of opportunity to complete it in a three-week period from Monday 7th June to Sunday 27th June, a suggestion which was proposed to the Ard Comhairle.’’
“The 35 clubs again wrote to the Ard Comhairle before a meeting of the Ard Comhairle on Wednesday 19 May asking it to reverse its decision to cancel the championships. It appears that the Ard Comhairle has decided not to reverse its decision.
“While we understand and acknowledge that this past year has posed unprecedented difficulties for the Association and for those charged with administering its affairs, the clubs have proposed a reasonable alternative which would allow the championships to be played.
“However, following the decision of the Ard Comhairle of Cumann Camogaiochta na nGael not to complete the Club Championship 2020, a number of clubs affected have been left with no option other than to refer the decision to the Dispute Resolutions Authority in an effort to resolve the issue.
“The clubs are the heart of our sport and we want the club players to have the opportunity to play at the highest level available to them.”
Oulart-the-Ballagh player Ciara Storey perfectly summed up just how important these competitions are last week.
“I’d play it in the back garden if I could. If we have to get dressed in the car and go out and play, I think everybody would be happy to do it.
“Club is where it all begins and where it all ends. You’re up there when you’re five or six until you’re about 40, when you shouldn’t still be playing! Winning All-Irelands with your friends and with the girls you grew up with, that means everything to you. The more camogie that can be played the better for everybody. I just really hope they will see where we’re coming from.”
The Camogie Association previously discouraged the three-week proposal, saying it would not be possible to play the games within a short timeframe.
They also stated there were in excess of 50 games in respect of 2020 season across all grades which could not be accommodated.
The Association stated that all competitions continue to be subject to public health restrictions and available scheduling space, while they also had to consider the impact on other competitions within the games schedule at all levels.