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Collingwood Cup kicks off without expelled Jordanstown

By Keith Bailie

Ulster University Jordanstown have been expelled from the Collingwood Cup, which kicks-off in Galway today (Monday).

UUJ were set to play UCD in the first round this afternoon, but the Irish University Football Union barred them from the competition on Friday afternoon, a day before the players were set to travel south. UUJ were kicked out as they intended to field players from the Magee campus in their Jordanstown side.

In a statement, the IUFU said: "We greatly regret the fact that we had to exclude the UUJ from this year's Collingwood Cup.

“It recently came to the attention of the IUFU that the Ulster University authorities intended to play players from the Magee Campus of the Ulster University on the UUJ team.

“The IUFU made it clear that this was not and never has been permissible.

“Regrettably, the Ulster University authorities refused to agree to an all UUJ team and, accordingly the IUFU had no option but to refuse them entry to this years tournament.”

This decision is the culmination of a long-running eternal dispute between Ulster University and their campus football teams. The recently re-branded University had hoped to enter one Ulster University side that contained students from their Coleraine, Jordanstown and Magee campuses.

Football officials at Coleraine vigorously fought this diktat, and entered the famous inter-varsity competition under their own name. UU entered the tournament under the Jordanstown banner, while the Magee campus opted not to enter the competition.

With the Magee club not involved, UU had hoped to enter joint team that included players from both Jordanstown and Magee. However, they were informed by IUFU that it was against Collingwood Cup rules to select players from more than one campus. As UU refused to comply with the IUFU requests and enter a team that only consisted of players from the Jordanstown campus, the governing body of University football in Ireland opted to expel them from the competition.

An Ulster University spokesperson expressed their disappointment at the decision.

“Ulster University is disappointed in the IUFU’s decision to suspend the University from competing in this year’s Collingwood Cup as a single, cross- campus team. The University and the Sports Union remain committed to this approach, which is in line with the University's policy across all sports and the approach taken by all other universities participating in the Collingwood Cup."

The Belfast Telegraph understands that Ulster University may take the matter to court, as they wish to enter one cross-campus team in future Collingwood tournaments.

Ulster University Coleraine will compete in the tournament, however according to club officials, they have not received any funding from their university, who do not recognise them as an official UU team. They play University of Limerick in the first round today.

Meanwhile, Queen's University start their tournament with a first round tie against Mary Immaculate College of Limerick, this afternoon.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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