The GAA will announce its revised 2020 championship fixture plan on Friday and a football backdoor will not be included.

A meeting of the GAA's management committee will rubber-stamp plans to launch the new fixtures template. 

A press conference will be held tomorrow morning to give clarification and further details of the eagerly awaited revised roadmap. 

RTÉ Sport understands that there were some challenges around seamlessly blending in competitions such as the All-Ireland Under-20 hurling series. 

And the process may have been complicated further by the fact that the GAA is still awaiting word from the Northern Ireland Executive on return to play protocols for the six counties, and whether they can align with the plan agreed by the southern Government.

As reported by RTÉ Sport earlier this week, Ulster GAA officials remain hopeful that they can align closely to the Republic in terms of return to training but are awaiting word on when they can resume games. 

It’s understood that the final two rounds of the Allianz Football League will be concluded from mid-October. 

Despite calls for a backdoor in some quarters, the 2020 football championship is expected to be played on a straight knockout basis. 


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If a backdoor was introduced it would inevitably lead to the championship spilling over into 2021 and with the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) calling for a defined closed season for inter-county footballers and hurlers, it’s hard to see how all 2021 competitions – club, league and championship – could be incorporated into next season.

The GPA also suggested the possibility of having an open draw format this year but instead the existing 2020 provincial championship draws will be implemented. 

There will be a second chance scenario in the hurling championship, however, with teams going into qualifiers after a first defeat.

The system is set to mirror the format used up to 2018.

The hurling series will kick-start the inter-county championship season with provincial games commencing at the end of October.

It will be revealed tomorrow if Kilkenny and Wexford will receive a bye in the Leinster championship as they reached the 2019 provincial final. 

The Under-20 hurling championship could also be launched in mid-October and played on a straight knockout basis. 

So too, it’s believed, will the minor hurling and football championships be played off without the safety net of a backdoor.