Delaney hits out at GAA's stance on Croker

January 16, 2010
John Delaney has claimed the FAI and IRFU might not have gone ahead with the Aviva Stadium development if they had known Croke Park would be available to them in the long term. The GAA only agreed to open its doors to soccer and rugby in 2007 on a temporary basis, but the financial success of staging international games at Croke Park has seen a change in attitude in the GAA, and it is expected that a motion will passed at Congress in April which will give Central Council the power to open the stadium to other sports in the future. But speaking after yesterday's announcement that the Republic of Ireland's glamour friendly on March 3 against Brazil will take place in Arsenal's Emirates Stadium and not Croke Park, the FAI chief executive again ruled out a return for the international soccer team to GAA headquarters for at least 10 years, stating that the GAA's initial position forced soccer and rugby chiefs to redevelop Lansdowne Road and sign long-term contracts with sponsors and suppliers. "Had it been made clear going in that Croke Park would remain open in the longer term, I think that discussion could have taken place," the Waterford native said. "But it was made clear to both Philip Browne (IRFU CEO) and myself when we attended the first meetings that Croke Park was not going to become available to us in the longer haul."

Most Read Stories