Fun facts about Gaelic Football

22 February 2012; Kraft Foods today announced the renewal of the Cadbury sponsorship of the GAA U21 Football Championship for another 3 years. The renewal builds on a successful 7 year partnership between Cadbury and the GAA which has seen the Championship go from strength to strength with greater TV coverage now than ever before and over 20,000 fans attending the final in Croke Park last year. At the launch of of the Championship are Under 21 footballers, Patrick McBrearty, Donegal, left, Michael Quinlivan, Tipperary, centre, and Cillian O'Connor, Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brian Lawless / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

Gaelic football is one of the most popular sport in Ireland. It dates back to the 16th century. Each team has 15 players that can kick, pass or punch the ball but they are not allowed to throw it. Also, the players should not pick the ball from the ground, they can carry it for four steps after which it should be punched, kicked or bounced away. One point is gained for putting the ball over the bar while three points are gained when the ball is driven under the bar. Here are 6 fun facts about Gaelic football that you probably did not know

In 1992, a final match was delayed because a player broke a crossbar 

The final match in July, 1992, Roscommon took Mayo in McHale stadium in the Western province of Connaught. This game lives on because during the second half, as mayo were attacking their opponents, Enon Gavin, a Roscommon defender pulled down the crossbar breaking it in the process amid 21000 Gaelic fans who were in attendance leading to the delay of the match for close to an hour.

There is a curse that follows the Mayo Gaelic football team

This is a tale that has apparently been handed down through the mayo Gaelic football generations and it still rings through to this day.

In 1951 as the Mayo team was travelling to their county from a match in which they had won over Meath, 2-8 to 0-9, as legends claim, the team came across a funeral on the way to castlebar bury the deceased. The team bus took over the and as the tale goes, the widow of the deceased put a curse on the team so long as the members of the then team are still alive Mayo Gaelic football team will never win any Championship and they have never to this day.

Apparently, only one member of that team is still alive and he hides from the people of Mayo.

There is a GAA team based in the Arctic Circle

The Helsinki harps and the Oulu Irish Elks are the world’s most northerly based GAA teams. They are located almost 2100km from Dublin, GAA headquarters and they are the only two teams that play outside Finland.

Interestingly, most of their players do not come from Ireland. 50% of the players hail from Scandinavian state while the other are from Helsinki. The two sides made history in 2013, when they staged their first game in Oulu setting a record for Gaelic football played outside Ulster.

Xabi Alonso played can play Gaelic football

In mid 90s during an exchange program, relocated to kells in Meath to learn English where he was introduced to Gaelic football by the local kids. A champion’s league and world cup winner playing Gaelic football is just incredible.

There is a Gaelic football team based in Oman with 16 players all from different countries.

We do not get this too often. The captain of this team is Egyptian and the players are from countries such as Syria, Philippines and Jamaica.

Peter McDermott, a Gaelic football referee has won all Ireland Championship.

GAA relies on its members for a number of roles but they are quite strange. In 1953, Peter McDermott referred the all-Ireland finals between Armagh and Kerry wearing black in which Kerry won. The following year, he referred All-Ireland finals again in colors of his home county just like the Meath in which they took the title. Strange right?

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