Bohemians withdraw from Irn-Bru Cup after quarter-final postponement

East Fife manager Darren Young. Pic: SNS
East Fife manager Darren Young. Pic: SNS
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Bohemians have withdrawn from the Irn-Bru Cup at the quarter-final stage after the SPFL was unable to reschedule their postponed fixture with East Fife.

The match, due to take place last Saturday, had to be postponed seven minutes before kick-off after the referee decided it was unplayable on a frozen Dalymount Park pitch.

The game was scheduled to be played much later than the other ties in the last eight due to the previous League of Ireland season finishing.

With the semi-finals due to take place in less than two weeks time, East Fife playing in the next round of the Scottish Cup this weekend, and Bohemians starting their new season, there was no free date left in which to reschedule the game.

After discussions from all parties, it has been decided that Bohemians shall withdraw from the competition.

East Fife will now play Ross County at the semi-final stage.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “We are grateful to Bohemian FC and to the FAI for their cooperation and assistance in ensuring the smooth conclusion of this year’s IRN-BRU Cup. We look forward to welcoming our Irish friends to next season’s competition.”

East Fife FC chairman Jim Stevenson said: “We all enjoyed the hospitality shown by our new friends at the weekend but were disappointed that we could not get the game played. We wish Bohemians every success in their 2019 season and look forward to continuing our own still competing in three competitions.”

Bohemian FC spokesperson Luke O’Riordan said: “We deeply regret having to withdraw from the competition but feel that, given that the semi-final is due to take place in 11 days’ time, the logistical and time constraints involved in trying to reschedule our quarter-final tie before then was an impossible task and leave us with no other option.

“With little scope to find an alternative date that suited both clubs and following discussions between our club’s board and the first-team management about the distracting effect ongoing disruption could have on preparations for the new league season, we agreed that we have to prioritise that and thus regrettably withdraw from the tournament.

“As a club, we have been grateful for our inclusion in the IRN-BRU Cup despite the logistical challenges it has presented. Our supporters have enjoyed the camaraderie of the occasions of visiting Peterhead and of hosting Sutton United in previous rounds. These were memorable and unique days for our players and fans alike and it is of deep regret that Saturday did not provide us with yet another one against East Fife. We wish them all the best for the remainder of the competition.”