League committee quits after abuse over cup row

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ORGANISERS of a local youth football league have quit after they received abuse for refusing to change kick-off times so kids could watch Morecambe in the FA Cup.

Now the mass resignation could threaten the future of the Lancaster and Morecambe Service to Youth league.

The committee members - chairman Ron Beals, secretary Terry Akrigg, treasurer June Akrigg and fixtures secretary Les Abel - announced the decision at an extraordinary meeting on Monday night.

They blamed a glut of abusive emails, Twitter messages and phone calls after they refused to move last Sunday’s league programme to 1pm so youngsters could watch the Shrimps play Sheffield Wednesday.

Parents had complained their children were disappointed that they couldn’t support Morecambe FC in their big FA Cup match.

Don Bateson, president of the Service to Youth League, said: “It saddens me.

“The one saving grace if they have decided to continue until the end of the season for the boys’ sake. “They were going to resign with immediate effect. I just hope there is youth football next season.”

Mr Bateson defended the committee’s decision not to move the kick off time.

“All league games kick off at 2pm on Sundays as the rules state.

“If they had set a precedent on this occasion, imagine what could have happened in the future.

“Clubs could have come up with all sorts of reasons for a change of time.”

Mr Bateson said no-one had yet come forward to volunteer to take their places.

“Somebody has to organise the running of this league. Some of this committee have been involved for over 30 years giving up their spare time to give these boys the chance of football and they deserve a lot of credit for this.”