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Thursday, 23 October 2014

Junior champs booted out of cup in rules row

A CHILDREN’S football team from Cockermouth has been booted out of this year’s County Cup by the Cumberland Football Association.

Cockermouth Junior Football Club’s U13 side were expelled from the tournament after they were unable to fulfil their semi-final fixture with Carlisle side Pirelli.

The game was due to take place on February 7 but bad weather conditions meant it was called off.

County Cup rules state that in a case of a postponement the match must be played the following weekend.

However, most of the Cockermouth team were away on holiday because it was the start of half-term.

Chairman Stuart McFadyen was told the Cumberland FA would act as a mediator between the two clubs but then got a phone call to say that his side were out of the league.

He said: “I left an answerphone message for them and spoke to the FA a couple of days later. I explained that due to the school holidays we could not field a team as players were either on school trips or family holidays.

“The FA stated this wasn't a problem and proposed another date that both ourselves and Pirelli needed to agree on in order for us not to be kicked out.”

However, Pirelli said they were not prepared to play the new fixture, which meant Cockermouth were kicked out of the competition.

Mr McFadyen then wrote to FA headquarters in Soho Square but was told that the decision of the Cumberland FA was final.

Mr McFadyen, who has spent six years coaching and supporting young footballers in Cockermouth, has now threatened to walk away from the sport.

He said: “I think that the decision to kick us out of the competition was morally wrong. How do you tell a bunch of 12-year-olds that they can’t even try to retain their title because of something that was not their fault?

“The children are absolutely gutted and it was horrible when I had to tell them that they were out of the competition.

“The FA go on about getting more kids involved in sport and then kick us out. They are clearly not adhering to what they preach.

“I love football and helping the children but if this is the way football is going then I do not want to be a part of it.”

Geoff Turrell, county secretary for the Cumberland FA, said: “I tried to be flexible but if there is a deviation from the County Cup rules then something needs to be done.

“I feel sympathy for Cockermouth Juniors but it states in the rules that if a game is called off then it must be played the following weekend.

“If both teams agreed to switch it to another date then that would be allowed but that wasn't the case.

“We have rules and if we didn’t apply them then there would be anarchy.”

Have your say

Having clubs stick to the rule book is fine if the rules are appropriate and sensible. Having a cup round the week before February half term (given how often matches are postponed due to pitch problems)might not be the wisest move available.

Posted by P Tickner on 16 March 2009 at 21:48

disgrace! This needs to be looked at to allow more flexibility, but they have obviously said that as they are running scared!!...and have to use the rule book to get one over on the the champs. Very poor carlisle very poor

Posted by annon on 6 March 2009 at 13:00

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