The Channel Island Inter-Insular Football Committee has taken the decision to postpone the 2020 Close Finance Muratti Vase Semi-Final and the Under 16 Nigel Gavey match scheduled for the 21st and 28th March respectively.
Guernsey FA Chief Executive, and Inter-Insular Committee Secretary, Gary Roberts, commented that:
“It is regrettable that the decision has been taken to reschedule these two matches. However, following the decision by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare a COVID-19 Pandemic, and the recommendation by the Director of Public Health in Guernsey advising all Guernsey residents to consider avoiding all non-essential travel to and from the Bailiwick, this was the most prudent course of action. Football, like all sport, is a significant part of our communities and this decision was not taken lightly but the situation we currently face is unprecedented and the Inter- Insular Committee and the Associations recognise there is a social responsibility to place the health and well-being of those communities at the forefront of our decision making.”
“Jersey FA Chief Executive, Jean-Luc Desbois, said: “The Jersey FA looks forward to hosting the eventual winners of the Close Finance Muratti Vase Semi-Final, once it has been rescheduled. Tickets for the final at Springfield will remain on sale for Jersey supporters. If Coronavirus necessitates a change in scheduling, then all tickets will be valid for the revised date or a refund will be available. We continue to plan for mid-May and at this stage, the Under 21 Ambassadeur Bowl is still planned for 26th April in Guernsey.”
“We will work closely with our colleagues in Guernsey to ensure a new date is found for the Under 16s Nigel Gavey fixture, which is a highlight of the football calendar for many of our young players in this age group.”
The Inter-Insular Committee wishes to also emphasise, that at this time, these matches are being postponed and not cancelled. The COVID-19 situation is clearly fluid and fast-changing situation and will continue to evolve in the coming weeks. The Committee will continue to monitor the guidance and advice of the Guernsey, Jersey and Alderney governments medical professionals and will provide further updates as they become available.
Alderney FA Chairman Reg Atkins added: “We have taken the advice of our Island Medical Advisor and heeded our respective government directives in only undertaking essential travel into and out of the Islands. Sports travel is not essential activity and therefore will cease immediately. We look forward to reaching a better outlook on COVID-19 and rescheduling the semi-final. The backing of our Governments and travel partners is imperative to ensuring the safety of all players, coaches and supporters; allowing all to hopefully be involved in the future fixture. Whilst it is disappointing to postpone such a historic event, as this would have been the 100th Anniversary of Alderney’s only Muratti win, but people’s health comes first.”