Avondale United FC’s Under-13 girls team will forfeit their match if the Cork Women and Schoolgirls’ Soccer League (CWSSL) doesn’t reverse its earlier decision to deny Avondale a postponement.
Avondale qualified for the final by beating Riverstown FC in the semi-final on Monday, and were scheduled to play in the U-13 final against Midleton FC at 1pm on Saturday 14 May at St Colman’s Park in Cobh.
However, Avondale says it is unable to field a team due to the match clashing with Confirmation ceremonies - nine of its squad are due to get their Confirmation.
Two of Avondale’s coaches also have Confirmation ceremonies on Saturday and a number of their players are away on school tours, meaning that in total 11 of its 16-girl squad would be unable to play in Saturday’s fixture.
Avondale had offered to play against Midleton on Midleton’s home pitch, at a time of Midleton’s own choosing, but the league administrators in the CWSSL refused to grant a postponement, meaning Avondale forfeited its place, and Midleton will play the final against defeated semi-finalists Riverstown.
In a statement to the Irish Examiner on Friday, the CWSSL said fixtures are between clubs and the committee.
Avondale chairman David Madden told The Echo this was because the club was not “arrogant enough to expect to win the semi-final” and were thus unprepared for the possibility of a clash with Confirmations.
Mr Madden said he had emailed an appeal to the CWSSL on Friday afternoon, and he said he had nothing but good things to say about the league.
“However, I would appeal to them to reconsider, for the good of football, and for the good of the girls playing the game, because the situation is we have players making their Confirmation and it is very unfair to make them choose one event over the other,” Mr Madden said.
“We made an offer to Midleton, but the league has the final word on fixtures.” One Avondale parent told The Echo: “It just seems so unjust,” the parent said. “I can’t get my head around it. The league and all teams concerned should be doing their best to promote woman’s sport fairly.” The CWSSL said it would not be making any further statement. When contacted, Midleton FC did not wish to comment.