David Coldrick says a number of referees have serious concerns about the GAA's earlier-than-expected resumption.

The GAA’s initial date for the return to contact training was 20 July but that can now begin on 29 June following the Government’s announcement that Phase 4 of the country’s lockdown would be brought forward.

Coldrick has been in regular contact with other referees and the Meath official says some are undecided about whether to return.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio 1's Sunday Sport, Coldrick said: "You can’t eliminate the threat, just try to minimise it. What the GAA and Croke Park have done from a refereeing point of view is try to make it as safe as possible.

"Like players, referees are being asked to weigh up the risks involved and make individual decisions based on their own personal circumstances. That opt-in or opt-out clause applies for referees as much as it does for players and everybody else involved in the GAA.

"I think there are referees that have very valid concerns. I know from talking to referees that they are weighing up family, where they might have elderly parents, and thoughts on their own jobs and employment if they were to contract the virus.

"All referees want to return to the game but whether it’s right at this point of time…

"I know they’re weighing it up. I haven’t heard of any saying they wouldn’t [return] but there is a lot of thinking going on from a refereeing point of view, as I’m sure is the case with players as well."

Contact training and challenge games will be permitted from 29 June and Coldrick expects the situation will be reviewed on a week-to-week basis.

"I've read the safe return to play documentation and I’ve been through the e-learning module, it’s very comprehensive," he said. "The advisory group have put a lot of thought into this.

"But as we open it up and see games played over the first couple of weeks at club level, we need to see how it goes and learn from the things that go well and things that need further work on."

Former GAA President Liam O'Neill believes there is a real danger in getting back to playing Gaelic Games too quickly.

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