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'Heartbreaking': SuperCupNI cancelled for first time in 38 years

 

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Winning feeling: Glentoran captain Lucas Miskimmin lifts the trophy after his side defeated Dungannon United Youth in the 2019 Minor final

Winning feeling: Glentoran captain Lucas Miskimmin lifts the trophy after his side defeated Dungannon United Youth in the 2019 Minor final

Rangers lifted the 2019 junior title with a win over Charlton Athletic at the Ballymena Showgrounds. Credit : Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Rangers lifted the 2019 junior title with a win over Charlton Athletic at the Ballymena Showgrounds. Credit : Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Stephen Hamilton /Presseye

La Liga side Valencia won the Premier section last year

La Liga side Valencia won the Premier section last year

Tournament chairman Victor Leonard said it was a "heartbreaking" decision

Tournament chairman Victor Leonard said it was a "heartbreaking" decision

Stephen Hamilton/Presseye

Winning feeling: Glentoran captain Lucas Miskimmin lifts the trophy after his side defeated Dungannon United Youth in the 2019 Minor final

The SuperCupNI youth football tournament has been postponed for the first time in 38 years.

Football in Northern Ireland has been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic and the latest casualty is the STATSports SuperCupNI scheduled to kick off on August 2.

Organisers have listened to expert health and safety advice and reluctantly accepted that the popular competition cannot go ahead.

Tournament chairman Victor Leonard said it was a "heartbreaking" decision.

"We left it as long as possible but with the ongoing uncertainty over the road map ahead for sport in general during the current situation globally, we knew the 2020 event would not be feasible," said Leonard.

"All our stakeholders were involved in weighing up the situation and they, along with our vast team of volunteers, are disappointed at losing the event this year.

"They all put so much effort into ensuring the tournament runs smoothly and we are indebted to them for their commitment. We are all proud of what we have achieved since our first event in 1983. We have grown steadily, sometimes against the odds, to become a key part of Northern Ireland's event tourism schedule.

"I know there are many disappointed footballers from around the world who had been pinning their hopes on joining us this summer and our own local footballers were looking forward to pitting their skills against these players from different countries but their safety and that of our supporters and tournament staff is paramount at all times."

Belfast Telegraph