Unite the union Champions Cup ties postponed

The Unite the union Champions Cup ties have been put back to next year in light of the current COVID-19 situation on both sides of the border.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 12:54 pm

Both the Irish FA and the Football Association of Ireland have agreed to a request from Unite the union to put the games back to 2022.

Unite the union Deputy Regional Secretary Davy Thompson said: “Due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases both North and South, we in conjunction with the FAI and IFA have taken the decision to postpone the Unite the Union Champions Cup until 2022.

"While this was a decision we hoped we would not have to take, we believe it is the responsible approach given the current pressures on our health services."

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Conrad Kirkwood IFA President, Aaron Traynor (Coleraine), Graham Burke (Shamrock Rovers), Chris Shields(Linfield) and Gerry McAnaney FAI President pictured at the National Stadium at Windsor Park at the launch of The Champions Cup. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

"Unite has stood in solidarity with our health services throughout this pandemic, and we feel that a major cross-border event such as the Champions Cup could potentially place an additional burden on healthcare workers.

"We would like to thank the Associations and clubs for the joint decision taken today. We also want to take this opportunity to thank all those working on the front line for their continuing dedication to the public.”

Danske Bank Premiership sides Coleraine and Linfield were due to meet in their semi-final clash at Windsor Park next Tuesday evening.

Andrew Johnston, the IFA’s Head of Competitions and Player Status, said: “We respect the concerns raised by Unite the union and, in the spirit of partnership working, have agreed with postponing these fixtures until such time where all parties can agree on a rescheduled date.”

Airtricity League pair Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick’s Athletic were due to meet in the other clash.

League of Ireland Director Mark Scanlon added: “We apologise to the fans of all clubs involved in the Unite the union Champions Cup from both the League of Ireland and the Irish League but all concerned feel this is the best decision in the current climate. We look forward to restaging these fixtures as early as possible in the New Year.”