Irish League club Glentoran has described financial help for charities supporting refugees as “a matter of personal conscience”.
The east Belfast club was responding to a backlash by some fans against a Cliftonville initiative to donate a proportion of gate receipts this weekend to help the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe.
With Cliftonville due to host the Glens on Saturday, the 1st East Belfast Glentoran Supporters Club posted a message on Facebook saying it would boycott the game in protest at £1 of the £10 admission charge going to the cause.
The message said: “After Cliftonville made this statement on their website we as a club have pulled out from attending this weekend’s match and running a bus due to fans not having a say in where the money is being donated or the option to donate.”
On social media, many Glentoran fans were quick to distance themselves from the stance of the supporters’ club.
A spokesman for Glentoran said the football club had a long and proud tradition of charity fundraising and was backing the ‘90 Minutes for Hope – European Clubs United for Refugees’ initiative.
The spokesman said there is no plan for the club to donate a proportion of money collected from its own home games, although individual supporters would be invited to donate money on a voluntary basis.
In a statement, the spokesman said that the board of directors “is exploring available options through which the club and its supporters can contribute to help the position of those caught up in the refugee crisis”.