Councillor writes to IFA over ‘farcical’ seating arrangements

UUP Councillors Marc Woods and Colin McCusker at the Irish Cup semi Final
UUP Councillors Marc Woods and Colin McCusker at the Irish Cup semi Final

The row over seating arrangements for last Friday’s Irish Cup semi-final between Glenavon and Crsadfers has entered the political arena, with a local councillor describing the situation as ‘farcical’

Local councillor Colin McCusker has written to the IFA over the arrangements for the game

In his letter he stated: “In the run-up to the semi-final I read all the negative comments about this fixture relating to the initial switch to a Friday night, the £15 ticket price and the use of Ticketmaster to sell tickets.

“As usual, I gave the IFA the benefit of the doubt. However, when I arrived at the new ‘National Stadium’ at Windsor Park, I was very dismayed to be told that I couldn’t sit in the best seats where I could see both ends of the pitch.

“You will be aware that Glenavon fans were contained to a section of the new South Stand stadium which barely covered one half of the pitch and forced fans, like me, to sit in the corner and beside the building site for the new Kop stand.

“When I remonstrated with officials I was told it was for health and safety. Anyone who was there could see the stadium was two-thirds empty. The Crusaders fans were in the North Stand on the other side of the pitch so the issue of crowd segregation was irrelevant.

“From my point of view, and I know I speak for the hundreds of Glenavon supporters who were there on Friday, it seems at times that the game of football in Northern Ireland is happy to extract premiums from fans at every given opportunity, but yet treats them with contempt.

“The seating arrangements on Friday night were farcical and I want to know why Glenavon fans were contained to that section of the stadium. I was told it was due to the cost of hiring security staff – I trust this was not the reason!”