An unbroken run of 73 years has finally been broken by the implications of the coronavirus pandemic and while provisional dates have been set for the 2021 competition, that is not a given either.
The Channel Islands Inter-Insular Committee will reconvene in December and, in the words of GFA chief executive Gary Roberts, ‘see what the position is and and if it’s looking positive we will start to prepare’.
Few involved in the administration of the game across the Channel Islands will be surprised with the decision and although Alderney will be particularly saddened not to be able to properly mark the 100th anniversary of their one and only win, they cannot have been shocked either.
Roberts said what ‘whilst this decision has not been taken lightly, the Inter-Insular Committee decided that the continuing travel restrictions, combined with the ongoing uncertainty and risk associated with Covid-19, left no viable alternative but to confirm the cancellation of those matches yet to be played’.
‘The committee understands the tradition and history attached to these matches and there is a unified commitment to working together to see these fixtures return in the 2020/21 season. However, at the same time there is recognition of the social responsibility to place the health and wellbeing of the local communities at the forefront of our decision making and the committee will continue to be led by government guidance before confirming the return of these fixtures.’
Jersey FA and Inter-Insular Committee president Bradley Vowden, who from his own playing experience and as the son of a former Caesarean star ‘Mo’, knows the thrill of playing in the CI’s biggest game, said the committee were genuinely disappointed not to be able to complete the competition held over from last season.
‘However, the scheduled dates for next year’s Muratti weekend are planned for 15th and 16th May in Jersey, subject to football and travel being permitted, and we sincerely hope that these will go ahead as planned.’ There was also confirmation that the Jeremie and Wheway cup inter-island club competitions will temporarily be domestic events for the first time.