Muratti crowd limit worry played a part

POSSIBLE limits on the number of spectators permitted to watch a Springfield final was a consideration when – as expected – the Inter-Insular Committee yesterday called off the 2021 Murattis.

Concerns about a limitation on the size of the crowd played a large part i the decision to cancel the Muratti. (Picture by By Ben Fiore, 29496987)
Concerns about a limitation on the size of the crowd played a large part i the decision to cancel the Muratti. (Picture by By Ben Fiore, 29496987)

Additionally, it was revealed there was cross-island agreement that all inter-insular matches would need to be played – not just the men’s and women’s games.

With that in mind it was agreed that the timeline, and no known date for restriction-free inter-island travel, meant it was too difficult to effectively plan and deliver these matches.

‘The committee identified too many risks and potential issues, not least the JFA noting possible limits on the number of spectators permitted,’ said GFA chief executive Gary Roberts, who also acts as the IIC secretary.

‘While the decision is regrettable, all members of the committee were united in reaching what has been the only viable decision, with the health and safety of players, coaches, supporters and the wider island communities at the forefront of the decision-making.’

‘The committee remains hopeful that the situation in the Channel Islands will continue on the current positive trajectory, which will enable these historical fixtures to return to the football calendar in the 2021-22 season.

Bradley Vowden, the Jersey FA and current Inter-Insular Committee president, said it was ‘the only practical and realistic one [decision] that could be taken in light of the circumstances’.

‘We have left this difficult decision as long as possible in order to provide the players from the Channel Islands the opportunity to play in these historic fixtures. In particular, the relevant age group Murattis where young people will have missed out due to the pandemic and not get that opportunity again.

‘However, the timescale for inter-island travel to resume without restrictions remains uncertain and we have therefore now reached the point whereby it would be too difficult to successfully organise and host the various fixtures before the end of the season on 30 June.’

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