- Wednesday May 4th, 2022 @ 11:35
Unite The Union Champions Cup Called Off
The FAI released a statement on Wednesday morning confirming the 2021 edition of the competition will not take place.
The statement read: The Unite the union Champions' Cup 2021 has regrettably been called off in the wake of scheduling issues which have left Unite the union, the Football Association of Ireland and the Irish Football Association with no choice but to inform the clubs of this decision.
All three bodies had planned to host an expanded four team version of the Unite the union Champions Cup featuring two teams from the League of Ireland and two from the Irish League but the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have led to this cancellation after the postponement of the 2021 semi-final fixtures late last year.
Cross-border initiatives to celebrate diversity, promote equality and build community will continue however with Unite the union providing funding of 50,000 pounds which goes directly into communities and schools in the catchment areas of the teams involved. Talks will now commence on the future of the competition itself and other initiatives.
Unite the union deputy Regional Secretary Davy Thompson said:"Whilst we are disappointed that the tournament couldn't be concluded, we do acknowledge the pressures on clubs, players and staff coupled with the split seasons and the difficulties this brings when trying to organise a competition of this nature. Covid is something that no one could have envisaged as we entered into this project and has played a significant part in this outcome. We will continue to work closely with both associations and the clubs to advance our community activities which were at the core of this competition."
League of Ireland Director Mark Scanlon added:"Following on from the COVID-19 enforced postponement of the semi-finals late last year it has proven difficult to find alternative dates for the semi-finals and final of the Unite the union Champions Cup 2021. Together with Unite the Union and the IFA we have had to make the difficult decision to call off the tournament. On behalf of the FAI and our League of Ireland clubs, I want to thank Unite the union and my colleagues at the IFA for their ongoing support and consideration in reaching this decision. The commitment of Unite the union to football and their incredible work in the community with our clubs has been inspirational and we thank them for that. We will now work with all stakeholders on the off-the-field initiatives that have already proven so popular."
Photo credit: FAI