Tyrone have handed the Covid-19 outbreak in their squad well, according to former Sligo footballer Neil Ewing.

Ewing, who was forced to retire from the inter-county game earlier this year, was on the Yeats County panel last year when they were forced to concede their Connacht SFC semi-final against Galway after a similar outbreak of the virus in their panel.

But the GAA afforded the Ulstermen a two-week postponement to allow them adequate time to face Kerry in Saturday's All-Ireland semi-final. This has also meant that the final is pushed back too, with it now set to happen in two weeks, Saturday 11 September.

For Ewing, who was speaking on RTÉ's The Championship podcast, it was a case of Tyrone arguing their case in a stronger manner.

"It was a provincial semi-final we were preparing for; this is an All-Ireland semi-final," he began.

"We've seen a different approach taken by the GAA but probably most notably by Tyrone. The options presented to Sligo last year were pretty limited in terms of what they could do.

"Tyrone have played this one beautifully. We've seen a few pointed statements from both Tyrone and Kerry to bring us to this situation where they've been able to get a 14-day delay in the playing of the fixture.

"Go back to last October and it was probably unknown the impact that Covid could have over the coming weeks (after it was diagnosed). If every game was to be pushed out by a few weeks it could have had a huge impact across the championship.

"I think Tyrone have been very clever. They've probably played Kerry on this, they've played the GAA and it probably speaks to the intellect of some of the people involved behind the scenes at administration level in Tyrone.

"If not the acumen of Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher as well. Logan's professional background (as a solicitor) probably helped in terms of being able to word some of these statements.

"They've shown other counties how to play ball in similar situations."

With most counties now looking towards their club championships Ewing says the delayed inter-county semi-final can have implications for the club game around the country.

"It may be interesting in the club championship if there are similar situations across the country," he added.

"This precedent of how the GAA have been able to facilitate Tyrone - it'll be interesting to see how that plays out in counties across their club championships."

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