Hundreds of children are devastated after the Tameside Council asked a local soccer club to postpone their weekend games because of a “serious Covid breach”.
Curzon Ashton FC was due to host the East Manchester Junior Football League (EMJFL) Cup final at Tameside Stadium this weekend.
After an alleged breach of Covid rules during an adult charity game on Wednesday (May 19), the city council has asked the club to end this weekend’s games.
They were also issued with a £ 1,000 fine.
As a result, hundreds of young soccer players have suffered further heartache after another major soccer game was canceled due to the pandemic.
Last year’s cup final also had to be canceled as the country was in the middle of a national lockdown.
A mother, whose 10-year-old son was scheduled to play over the weekend, said the move was another setback for his mental health after two difficult years.
(Image: Daily Mirror)
“My son deserves the second final in two years. He can’t get upset anymore – footie is all he has.
“He’s devastated, he worked so hard for this final.”
In a statement, Tameside Council said they worked closely with Curzon FC but “insufficient restrictions” on a game last Wednesday forced them to take action.
“As a result, a firm complaint of £ 1000 for serious violations was issued on Wednesday night.
“In accordance with the Greater Manchester Police Department and the Director of Public Health, Tameside Council has no choice but to recommend that the club voluntarily postpone the weekend games. Thousands of players and spectators would have visited the club.”
“While Tameside has one of the lowest infection rates in Greater Manchester, it is only because residents followed the rules.
“With cases of the new variant that have already been recorded in the district, we cannot allow anyone to take risks.”
The club must also issue a notice of improvement or order the stadium to be closed for two weeks.
In response, Curzon Ashton FC said they were “bitterly disappointed” with the decision.
“Despite our best efforts, we failed to convince Tameside Council officials that we can safely hold the EMJFL final this weekend as planned,” they said.
“We are bitterly disappointed that so many young footballers will miss a fantastic experience this weekend.
“Additionally, we’re upset that our attempts to bring the community back together after such trial periods have resulted in this.
“At the same time, we have to thank everyone again who supported our two wonderful charities on Wednesday.”
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The decision sparked anger among numerous parents who have accused the Tameside Council of neglecting their children’s mental health.
“Absolutely disgusting and disappointing decision not to allow EMJFL to hold their cup final this weekend,” wrote one parent.
“So many children are absolutely devastated after missing last year’s children.”
Another said: “We have hundreds of children destroyed this weekend.
“How can we sit in a pub, go shopping, and eat in a restaurant, but the Tameside Council is canceling an open air soccer event for children?
“My nine and fourteen year olds waited two years for this.”
John Clayton, CEO of the East Manchester Junior Football League, described the situation as “very unsatisfactory”.
He said in a statement that he “will have extensive discussions with Curzon FC and Tameside Council over the weekend to see if further postponements are enforced.”