The Independent.ie report that Meath referee David Gough has opted out of reffing in the 2020 championship owing to social distancing. Gough is one of the best referees in the game and took charge of the 2019 All-Ireland football final.
The Independent state that Mr Gough informed Meath county board officials that he won’t be available to take charge of club games in the county. The club games in Meath are due to resume next month, as long as social distancing guidelines are met. Gough says that the same will apply to the inter county games when action resumes in the middle of October. He told the Independent.ie, “I spoke to the referees’ coordinator from the Meath county board this morning (Thursday) and updated him,”.
Gough said he can’t see himself returning to the game as long as social distancing is still in place. He said, “As long as there is social distancing still in place I won’t be taking charge of club matches in Meath for the foreseeable future”. He continued, It’s only two months since two metres seemed to be a life and death matter. If I go to town now I have to be two metres away from someone and wear a face mask at the same time which is HSE advice.
The Slane man continued, “So I don’t understand how I can safely be in a confined space with 30-plus people on a football field and be socially distant. Until that changes I won’t be coming back.” Gough said he thought very hard about the decision, but said it was made in the best interest of his team of officials which is made up of family members. He said,”I thought very hard about it. It’s based on my own personal circumstances and those of my umpiring team and I didn’t want to put them or myself (in harm’s way) based on our personal situations.