NIFL confirm Charity Shield will not go ahead due to European clashes
The Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) have confirmed that the Charity Shield will not take place this season due to clashes with European fixtures.
The game was due to see league champions Crusaders and Irish Cup winners Coleraine meet the week before the new season began on Saturday, July 28.
However, because of the possibility that both clubs may be involved in European matches on the Thursday night, July 26, NIFL have opted to shelve the annual curtain-raiser.
This would allow the two teams to concentrate on their respective European ties without having to consider the game two days later.
Crusaders will face Ludogorets Razgrad in the Champions League first round qualifier, and if they were to lose that tie then they would drop into the second round of qualifiers for the Europa League on that Thursday.
They could be joined there by Coleraine, who will first have to navigate past Spartak Subotica in their first round tie.
It is understood that NIFL wanted the Charity Shield to go ahead if possible, however it proved unrealistic to expect the teams to play so soon after European qualifiers.
"The NI Football League can regrettably confirm that there will be no Charity Shield this season," a statement from the organisation read.
"The decision was taken due to the difficulties in securing a date due to the European commitments of clubs on the proposed date of Saturday 28 July."
Belfast Telegraph Digital