Just picture it. Ireland qualify for the World Cup semi-finals but you can’t watch it because you already have commitments to go and see the club that’s closest to your heart.
A dilemma we’re unlikely to face any time soon on this side of the Irish Sea but it’s a realistic scenario for some English fans next Wednesday.
Oxford United will be traveling to Dublin to take on UCD AFC in a pre-season friendly due to kick off at 6.45pm. However, England could potentially be kicking off 15 minutes later in the World Cup semi-final, should they get past Sweden in the quarter-final this Saturday. That means that Oxford’s loyal supporters would miss out on watching their nation play their biggest match in almost three decades.
However, the sound lads at UCD have now agreed to a contingency plan which would see the game against Oxford take place at an earlier time so that the English side’s fans (and players presumably) can watch the events in Russia unfold.
A statement on Oxford’s website reads:
‘Since football is coming home, this could clash with England’s semi-final in the World Cup should they beat Sweden at the weekend.
‘Therefore the two clubs have come up with a sensible solution to the problem – If England progress then our game at UCD will move to a 5pm kick off and if England go out then the game will be played at the original time of 6.45pm.
— Oxford United FC (@OUFCOfficial) July 5, 2018
Respect thy neighbour and all that but something tells us UCD would be just as happy to kick off at the original time.
It’s no surprise that UCD are a great bunch of lads given that Father Ted himself, the late Dermot Morgan, was a supporter and once allegedly cited the reason for that being because “he doesn’t like crowds.”
A great gesture anyway and we’re sure any English club will do the same when Ireland gets to the semi-final of Qatar 2022.