As cases of Covid-19 continue to rise on the island of Ireland, the GAA is facing some tough calls.

This evening, the association will hold a virtual meeting with its county chairpersons to discuss the way forward as challenges emerge around having to potentially abide by two different sets of government guidelines, in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

A winter championship is on the horizon, but before that there are 30 Allianz Football League games to be played off as well as three hurling finals. Any more delays to the schedule could see the league getting cancelled completely but, speaking on the RTÉ GAA Podcast, Oisín McConville  argued the case for prioritising its completion.

"[Laois football manager Mike Quirke] hasn't mentioned the championship yet because he says his two league games that are remaining are way more important than what the championship is," the Armagh All-Ireland winner said. 

"I spoke to [Antrim football boss] Lenny Harbinson yesterday and he wasn't talking about the championship - the possibility of Antrim winning their last two games and getting promotion, that's a successful season for them.

"Realistically, are they going to beat a Cavan or a Monaghan in the first round of the championship? Probably not. That means their championship season is over.

"When this meeting happens this evening, Mike Quirke or Lenny Harbinson or whoever else feels as if the league is way more important, they need to make sure that they have somebody expressing that view when that meeting happens.

"For a lot of people, for the likes of those guys there, maybe the sacrificial lamb should be the championship, if there has to be something.

"For a lot of teams, the championship is second to the league in terms of their realistic aspirations of what they are going to achieve."

We need your consent to load this YouTube contentWe use YouTube to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity. Please review their details and accept them to load the content.Manage Preferences

Kerry legend Pat Spillane echoed those sentiments, and also expressed his hope that some of the underage competitions aren't chopped from the calendar.

"Isn't it sad in a way that just as the championship is about to commence, and the league is at its final stages, here we are talking about health issues and health matters?" he said.

"I suppose it just indicates the crazy way the world has gone. 

"We're very quick to condemn. We were condemning Dungannon for their euphoric celebrations. We were condemning the Blackrock supporters. There's a sort of victimisation and pointing of the finger - that's wrong. I think that's unfair. 

"We're talking about sacrificial lambs, we're talking about scrapping the league. To 20-something counties in Ireland, the next two rounds of the league are more important than the championship.

"You take Westmeath. They have Dublin to look forward to in the championship. That's not much to look forward to.

"There's a fear that the under-20 and the under-17 competitions could be sacrificed. I think that would be absolutely crazy. Everyone has suffered in the pandemic, but you know, the likes of me - I'm 65 years of age this year, I'm retired. Has it affected me? 

"I've been sort of cocooning for years; I've been in semi-lockdown for years! It hasn't really affected me. What the lockdown has affected is the youth of this country."