Leitrim have contacted Down GAA to say they are conceding today's Division 3 fixture in Newry due to a "lack of playing numbers available to travel."

The news was originally disclosed by Down country board on Saturday morning when they released a statement - "Coiste Chontae an Duin have been informed by Leitrim that they cannot fulfil the Allianz Football League Fixture today due to lack of playing numbers available to travel."

The fixture is thus conceded and will not now take place. After a fine league run last year, Leitrim now stand on the brink of going straight back down to the bottom tier. Their final game is against Tipperary and they remain hopeful of completing the campaign.

Leitrim GAA have released a statement confirming the decision to concede the fixture, attributing it to "the greater health situation" and expressing the hope that they can field a team against Tipperary in their final league fixture. 

"Unfortunately, due to the greater health situation that has gripped the country, Leitrim GAA has found itself having to concede our Allianz League encounter versus Down today.

"A number of players are awaiting test results and unavailable to travel. Other factors also prevented further players from being available, considering this greater health situation, and in this course of action, we must respect this situation.

"In summation, we are unable to field a team. We are living through very difficult times in an ever-increasing pandemic situation.

"Leitrim GAA is acutely aware of the efforts that have been made to get the inter-county season up and running.

"However, on this occasion, we cannot fulfill this fixture which is regrettable. We are hopeful that our situation will have resolved itself before next weekend's fixture versus Tipperary."

Leitrim GAA chairman Enda Stenson has always had huge concerns over his players lining out in matches over the coming months and that he would be "horrified if I thought one of our players was the cause of spreading Covid-19 to anybody."

This week he told RTÉ Sport: "The health and well-being of our young players is of paramount to us and everybody else. That is the talk around the country. I couldn't tell you the amount of calls I’ve received today and yesterday from people saying, 'Why are ye doing this? Ye don’t have to do this.'

"This weekend our senior men’s team are in Newry, our senior ladies' team have a challenge game in another county, our minors will be somewhere else and senior hurlers in Bekan. That is four teams leaving Leitrim to play in different parts across the country."

Meanwhile Down are firmly gunning promotion which they could now secure if they beat Louth  next weekend. They are locked on seven points with Longford while Cork are clear on 10 points.

Leitrim now forfeiting two points, and stay locked alongside other counties in the relegation battle - only five points separate the bottom five sides.

The possibility of the game being called off had also been flagged by Leitrim manager Terry Hyland in comments to The Irish News this morning. 

Hyland told the paper that, within the Leitrim squad, there was "worry over the travelling part, we have concern in our camp with guys with close contacts" and proceeded to label the decision with the fixture this weekend as "crazy."