Louth football captain Bevan Duffy believes the GAA has failed inter-county players by returning to action as cases of Covid-19 increase, citing a lack of testing as one of his main concerns. 

Duffy and his team-mates from the Wee County suffered relegation to Division 4 of the Allainz NFL on Saturday as Cork gained promotion to Division 2 after recording a resounding 5-19 to 0-16 victory on Leeside.

Speaking to radio station LMFM after the defeat, Duffy expressed bewilderment that fixtures were going ahead.

"I don't understand, with the case numbers going up, the way things are all around the country, how GAA inter-county footballers are all of a sudden immune to this," he said.

"We've teachers in that dressing room. We've lads living at home, a lot of lads living at home with their elderly parents.

"It doesn't really make that much sense."

Duffy also questioned the comments of many ex-players who work in the media. 

"A lot of former players seem to be driving it, but they're lads who are writing articles and have TV gigs," he added.   

"The lack of testing, the zero testing, I just can't understand it."

Expanding on current levels of testing in the inter-county sphere, Duffy said: "The protocols need to be better, without a doubt.

"There hasn't been any testing at all, which I can't get my head around. 

"Surely before the start of the National League campaign every inter-county squad should have been tested. Simple as. 

"That would take a lot of pressure off and put your mind at ease a bit, but you don't know. 

"What if someone tests positive on either of these squads today next Tuesday?

"And there are lads after playing a match here in Páirc Uí Chaoimh and then gone back to their homes and back all over Cork and all over Louth. 

"The lack of testing, the zero testing, I just can't understand it."

The GAA did bring in a rapid testing system over the last few weeks in order to test some or all players where counties believed it was necessary, with each county determining if it was required and then making a request.

Once the request has been received the testing could happen the following day.

At least one county, Wexford, availed of the service, which resulted in a number of positive cases.

Given the lack of testing Duffy described, he's far from reassured by the current level of positive tests in the game, and he views the GAA's amateur ethos as another major challenge in completing the league and championship schedules. 

"If you're not being tested, you're not going to get any positive tests," he concluded. 

"It's not right to put this sort of burden on amateur lads. We're not professional rugby players or professional soccer players who can go into these bubbles if need be or getting paid to do this."