Despite plans to push ahead with the tournament this coming July, Football Queensland have announced the inevitable postponement of the EVA Air Queensland Champions Cup.
The tournament consists of three teams. Brisbane Roar and two London-based Premier League clubs in West Ham United and Crystal Palace Football Club.
The tournament made international headlines upon the first news surfacing, with many football fans excited to see two strong English clubs travel Down Under for a pre-season tournament.
The excitement was palpable. But unfortunately, as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the tournament has been postponed until further notice.
Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic both in Australia and England, the EVA Air Queensland Champions Cup scheduled for this July has been postponed.
TEG Live is working to reschedule the tour for 2021 and an announcement around new dates will be made in due course. pic.twitter.com/HJHT4kQOcZ
— FootballQLD (@FootballQLD) April 22, 2020
The tournament was going to be a big hit for fans in Queensland, especially those with vested interests in the Premier League.
Football has become a huge attraction in the Sunshine state in recent times and it’s quite saddening to see that this event has been postponed. Although at the same time, we’re thankful that precautions have been taken to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Brisbane Roar head coach Robbie Fowler has made a bold entrance into the A-League this season, taking the Roar into fourth position on the table.
Although Liverpool weren’t scheduled to travel to Australia, it’s a great prospect to see Fowler, in a way, mix it with Premier League teams once again.
West Ham United released a statement on their website on Wednesday:
“West Ham United regret to confirm that, due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the inaugural EVA Air Queensland Champions Cup has been postponed.
The Hammers were scheduled to be travelling to Australia in July to take part in the tournament alongside fellow Premier League side Crystal Palace and A-League outfit, Brisbane Roar.
However, given the social distancing measures in place across the world to prevent the spread of the virus, along with the suspension of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign until further notice, the decision has been taken to cancel the event, with the health and safety of players, officials and supporters an absolute priority.
The Club will continue to work with tour organisers TEG Live and there is a commitment from both sides to try and find a date to reschedule the tournament.
Manager David Moyes said: “It is a real shame that we will no longer be able to make it over to Queensland this summer, however, it is the right decision to postpone given the circumstances. The players and I were really looking forward to seeing our fans and the people of Australia, especially as there was great excitement and support for the tournament.
“This is a situation that has affected the entire world, though, and the only thing that matters at this time is that people stay safe and well. We hope the tournament can be rearranged at a later date once things are back to normal, and we look forward to visiting Australia in the future.”
Existing ticket holders should have already received an email direct from Ticketek, the official ticket operator for the tournament, outlining their options.
West Ham United would like to thank our supporters, particularly those out in Australia, for their understanding in this matter.”
Crystal Palace also released a similar statement with chairman Steve Parish describing the decision as “bitterly disappointing”. However, Parish would go on to postface that football was merely secondary when compared to the current situation of the world.
As disappointing as it is that we won’t get to see two of England’s powerhouse clubs play in Australia, the decision was all but made once borders were closed. Depending on how the Premier League reschedules their fixtures and potentially their fixtures next season, it may be more of a cancellation than a postponement.
However, we hope that is not the case as it would be fantastic for the game of football in Queensland if this competition could go ahead.
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