Milne Cup match could take place next weekend

The annual senior football inter-county between Shetland and Orkney could take place in Kirkwall this month.

No supporters will be allowed to attend the historic fixture because of Covid-19 restrictions but the game could be streamed live instead.

According to the Orkney Football Association (OFA), permission has been granted by the authorities for the Milne Cup match to be staged on Saturday 17th October.

The OFA stated this week, in partnership with Shetland Football Association, that it was delighted to announce the news.

OFA president Colin MacLeod said: “Both associations have been working together behind the scenes for some time in an effort to play this prestigious fixture in 2020, waiting for the right time.

“We are now extremely pleased the Scottish Amateur Football Association has given us permission to do so, which they view equally as a prestigious a fixture in the Scottish amateur football calendar.

“We all fully understand the world and both our island communities are still going through very difficult times due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and this is an ever changing situation.

“However, we have been extremely patient and have followed strictly the guidelines and regulations from the Scottish government, NHS Scotland and the Scottish Amateur Football Association for this return to football adhering to its ‘Phase 3 Guidance for Adult Football’.”

Mr MacLeod said both associations believed the staging of the Milne Cup game was an important step in the return to football in the islands for the wellbeing, health and fitness of all their football players.

He added: “We will continue to monitor this, as well as the regulations and guidelines to ensure this match is played with the minimum amount of risk to the players, coaches and wider community of both islands.

“Unfortunately, due to the restrictions we are bound by under this phased return, we are very disappointed to inform both sets of supporters and the interested public from both islands, this match must take place with no spectators present.

“We are working on the possibility of live streaming this match, so all those interested will at least get a chance to see the match online. This will be subject to a further announcement in due course.”

Meanwhile, it is understood that a knockout competition involving senior Shetland club will begin this coming weekend on the artificial pitch at Brae.

No statement has been forthcoming from Shetland Football Association on either that or the Milne Cup game, but it is believed that Thistle, Whalsay and Celtic will all be involved in the first round of fixtures.

• For more see The Shetland Times on Friday.


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