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Tolka Park (file pic).
Tolka Park (file pic).
Image: Ben Brady/INPHO

Anger as Shelbourne criticise 'incredibly unfair' decision to call off Pat's match

The call was made after it emerged that the Saints had been left stranded in Bulgaria.
Aug 6th 2022, 7:27 PM 9,185 9

SHELBOURNE HAVE criticised the decision to call off Sunday’s Premier Division fixture against St Patrick’s Athletic.

The Dublin side are unhappy with the “short notice” and hit out at what they describe as a “further fixture backlog”.

The decision was made late on Friday night, after it emerged that the Saints had been left stranded in Bulgaria, following their away first-leg 1-0 win on Thursday.

The club were unable to source a charter flight home, after originally travelling out to Sofia on a charter flight from Knock airport. 

The delay means the Richmond Park outfit are now not expected to be back in Dublin until Sunday morning ahead of what was supposed to be an afternoon kickoff at Tolka Park.

The association added on Friday that they would “review this matter internally and a further announcement will be made in due course regarding next steps”.

It is not the first issue this year with regard to Irish clubs in Europe. Shamrock Rovers had to take a series of different commercial flights for their Champions League qualifier away to Ludogorets, while their Europa League opponents FC Shkupi were critical of having to land at Shannon Airport during the week, describing their treatment as “evil”.

The Shelbourne response in full reads: “Shelbourne FC learned late on Friday that Sunday’s game against St Pat’s has been called off by the FAI due to St Pats being unable to fulfil the fixture as a result of their travel plans.

“We note that the FAI will now review all of the facts in front of them and determine next steps and that they will contact us accordingly to discuss further.

“We trust this review will recognise that rescheduling would cause a further fixture backlog for Shelbourne FC. As it stands, we have had just two home games in three months.

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“Equally, it is incredibly unfair on our supporters, volunteers and the Gardai to have had Sunday’s game called off at short notice, especially considering that this fixture had previously been rescheduled from Friday.

“We share our supporters’ frustration at the inconvenience this has caused to everyone at the club.

“Season ticket holders and ticket purchasers will be contacted directly in relation to refunds.”

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Paul Fennessy

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