Glentoran praise NI Football League over match postponement

Glentoran praise NI Football League over match postponement

Glentoran boss Mick McDermott has praised the NI Football League for postponing Tuesday’s game against Coleraine.

The highly-anticipated Premiership showdown was called off hours before kick-off in line with NIFL’s Covid Case Policy.

McDermott believes the governing body took the “sensible option” to postpone the clash, after Covid-related issues were discovered within Glentoran’s camp.

He told the club’s website : “From a sporting perspective we are always disappointed when a game is postponed but we must understand that we are dealing with something much more important, the lives of every person in and around our football clubs.

“The NIFL decision yesterday was the only correct one when faced with this unique challenge of Covid issues arising on a matchday. NIFL’s priority was to protect everyone involved, so the only sensible option was to postpone the match.”

McDermott added: “I thank NIFL for their prompt and objective decision – it was for the greater good. It is imperative we do the right thing, all of the time.”

A new date has yet to be confirmed for the game, which would have seen two in-form teams meet at the Showgrounds.

Coleraine are unbeaten in their last 16 games in all competitions, while the Glens have gone nine league games without defeat.

Bannsiders chairman Colin McKendry voiced his frustration at the late postponement, but said the health and safety of everyone involved was paramount when making any decision.

He told the Belfast Telegraph : “The health of players, officials, management and fans comes first and we have to respect that.

“I sat on the board that created the Covid-19 case policy and it can be read in two ways.

“Of course, the health and safety aspect is paramount but surely if other players — who haven’t tested positive or been in close contact and have no symptoms — can play after having a negative lateral flow?

“It is disappointing that the game has had to be postponed as we had sponsors, mascots, ball boys, social club staff, club shop staff and other match day personnel in place before being told it wasn’t being played after 2pm.

“However, we realise there is a new variant of Covid and we wish the players affected at Glentoran a very speedy recovery.”

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