The upcoming AIB All-Ireland senior club hurling semi-finals have been fixed for 18 December - the same date as the FIFA World Cup final.
Whilst the first Croke Park semi-final double bill between St Thomas' and Dunloy will throw in at 1.30 on that Sunday, the eagerly awaited meeting of Ballyhale Shamrock and Ballygunner is then down for 3.30pm.
This will clash directly with the World Cup final kicks off in in Qatar at 3pm, the most widely viewed event in the global sporting landscape. The second hurling semi-final is a rematch of last season’s thrilling All-Ireland final.
It’s understood that the four clubs at the business end of this series were offered the opportunity to play their semi-finals after Christmas. But all four wanted the games navigated this side of Christmas to have a clear path towards the final at Croke Park on 22 January.
The hurling final will take place on the same day as the football final.
A potential clash with the World Cup had been mentioned in some circles. Due to a wedding in the St Thomas’s club, their semi-final couldn’t be fixed for Saturday, 17 December but it was suggested the Ballygunner-Ballyhale game would go ahead on that day.
However, Croke Park is out of bounds on 17 December with All-Ireland club camogie games pencilled in.
Meanwhile, FBD Semple Stadium is currently undergoing repair works.It led to the GAA’s Central Competitions Control Committee opting for a double bill at HQ.