ONLY 200 people will be allowed inside the gates of United Park next Sunday for Westport United’s huge FAI Junior Cup clash against Oliver Bond Celtic.
The club had been hoping that the government guidelines on crowds would ease to 500 people, as planned, in time for Sunday’s clash. However, last week’s government announcement that the opening of Phase Four will be pushed back until August 10 means that only 200 people can gather.
Included in that figure are players, management teams and backroom staff of both sides, as well as media, medical personnel, stewards and dignitaries, which means the host club have only 60 tickets to provide to supporters.
In a statement released by Westport United, they acknowledge the difficult situation the restrictions put them in and say the fairest way of allocating the tickets is to family members of their players and management.
“We fully understand your disappointment that the biggest game of 2020 has a severely restricted attendance,” wrote PRO Kenneth Gannon. “But as a club, hard decisions had to be made for our supporters, as much as we would love to see you in your hundreds at United Park and the hardcore fans that travel the length and breadth of the country supporting the Red and Black, willing the team on, we regret to announce that the club is restricted to 60 tickets.
“We agonised on the fairest way possible to allocate our tickets and as a club, we decided that the tickets would be allocated to families of the players and team management.”
The club went on to apologise to their supporters for the situation but felt that in these ‘extraordinary times’ they were left with little choice in the matter.
They also asked ‘our Westport United family to protect each other and stay safe’.
The match will be streamed live on Facebook, with Westport United teaming up with Striker Online to stream the game.
Kick-off at United Park is next Sunday, July 26 at 2pm.