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Garvey reject Euro hosting role over Covid concerns

 

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Lisnagarvey have declined an offer to host next year's EuroHockey Club Trophy tournament in Hillsborough, having earlier agreed to do so in very different circumstances.

Lisnagarvey have declined an offer to host next year's EuroHockey Club Trophy tournament in Hillsborough, having earlier agreed to do so in very different circumstances.

©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Lisnagarvey have declined an offer to host next year's EuroHockey Club Trophy tournament in Hillsborough, having earlier agreed to do so in very different circumstances.

Lisnagarvey have declined an offer to host next year's EuroHockey Club Trophy tournament in Hillsborough, having earlier agreed to do so in very different circumstances.

Garvey were given first refusal to stage the competition at the second time of asking, having opted to host it last May before the Covid-19 pandemic forced its postponement for 12 months.

But continued uncertainty over the situation surrounding the impact of the virus has led to a change of heart and now the other seven participating clubs will be invited to host the showpiece.

Garvey chairman Kyle Lunn explained: "In normal circumstances, we would relish the opportunity to host a European tournament at our club and it was very disappointing that last season's tournament was cancelled, as we had put a lot of effort into organising a first class event.

"But we are now in very changed times due to Covid and operating any amateur sports club is going to be very challenging in the months ahead.

"We are very fortunate to have a tremendous membership who have done a brilliant job to get the club open again, as was seen in our hosting of last weekend's Irish Senior Cup semi-final.

"We will need their help to get us through the regular season ahead and to organise a large tournament in uncertain times is a huge undertaking on top of everything else that we are doing.

"Hosting such a tournament also brings significant costs, which in normal times can be offset by ticket sales and holding other events at the same time and venue.

"However, there is considerable uncertainty about the ability to offset those costs and therefore, when all aspects are considered, we have had to take the difficult decision not to put our names forward as a potential host."

The invitation to run the tournament will now go out to teams from Italy (2), Croatia, Denmark, Portugal, Wales and the Czech Republic who are scheduled to join Garvey at the event.

However, it remains to be seen whether any of the other participants will be willing to take such a gamble for the same reasons that Garvey have outlined so the tournament may unfortunately be in some doubt. 

Belfast Telegraph