The Tyrone county board have stated that they may be forced to withdraw from the All-Ireland championship due to concerns over player welfare.

The semi-final against Kerry has been put back for a week because of a number of Covid-19 cases within the Red Hands squad.

But Tyrone officials have warned that not enough time has been allowed for recovery and return to play.

County chairman Michael Kerr revealed that a request for a two-week postponement until the weekend of 28-29 August was turned down by Croke Park officials.

The clash with the Munster champions was originally scheduled for this Sunday, but has now been re-fixed for Saturday, 21 August.

"This is about player welfare, and it's clear that our players will not be ready to engage in a high-intensity championship game so soon after being directly affected by this virus," said Kerr.

He added that Tyrone may not be in a position to field a team for the eagerly-awaited clash with the Kingdom.

Kerr said a difficult decision will have to be taken, which could lead to a withdrawal from the All-Ireland series, and a bye to the final for Kerry.

"The welfare of the players is paramount. The management will not be making a decision until this weekend on whether we will be capable of fulfilling the fixture."

"We are grateful to have the opportunity to be able to field, but by the same token, disappointed that Croke Park have not given us sufficient time to prepare a proper challenge for Kerry."

Carrickmore clubman Kerr questioned Croke Park’s position on limiting the postponement to one week.

"They have decided that the final should be pushed no further back than Saturday, 4 September, but if something similar was to happen in the meantime to any of the two panels competing in the final, that date would disappear into the twilight as well.

"While we appreciate the postponement, which now allows us to be able to field a team, our request to have the match put back until the following weekend would have allowed us to be able to field a team that would be properly prepared and be in a position to do itself justice in an All-Ireland semi-final.

"We are grateful to have the opportunity to be able to field, but by the same token, disappointed that Croke Park have not given us sufficient time to prepare a proper challenge for Kerry.

"We are also conscious of the fact that the situation is not an ideal one for Kerry, and the uncertainty creates difficulties for their preparations for this important game."

Meanwhile, Kerry aired their "disappointment" at the decision to postpone the clash but accepted it was the right call.

"Today's announcement to postpone the Kerry v Tyrone semi-final is a disappointment to us all," said Kerry GAA chairman Tim Murphy.

"We are fully aware of the many Kerry supporters who had made plans to travel to Croke Park for Sunday’s game.

"Notwithstanding this however we acknowledge that at we are all living in very challenging times and Covid continues to circulate in our communities necessitating the decision by the National CCCC to push the fixture out by six days."

Tyrone confirmed last weekend that "a number of players are self-isolating" as they awaited Covid-19 test results.

"Further to a number of positive Covid-19 tests with members of the Tyrone senior football panel and management, prior to last weekend's successful Ulster Championship final in Croke Park, it was decided to have all panellists and management tested for the virus," it read.

"While outcomes from these tests are awaited a number of players are self-isolating; it is anticipated that all outcomes will be known by Monday and preparations can then be made for the forthcoming All-Ireland semi-final with Kerry.

"During the past week Tyrone GAA has continued to comply, fully, with the guidelines and directives that have been issued by the Public Health Authority and by Croke Park."

A number of players and co-manager Feargal Logan missed the Ulster final win over Monaghan for Covid-related reasons.

The GAA moved the Under-20 hurling final scheduled for today to 17 August after the entire Cork panel were deemed close contacts.