SUFFOLK FA have announced that the Adult 2019-20 County Cup competitions are to be concluded, but the Youth competitions have been terminated immediately.
Since the suspension of the 2019-20 season on March 16th, it has been the hope of Suffolk FA to conclude as many of the County Cup competitions as possible once football activity can resume.
With the return-to-football announcement on Saturday, July 18th, the Cups Panel of Suffolk FA met recently to explore options for both adult and Youth competitions, consider player eligibility and ways of holding matches which maintain the experience of the competition whilst appreciating it will not be possible to host Finals at Portman Road for this season.
2019-20 Adult County Cups Competitions
All 2019-20 Adult County Cup competitions are to be concluded.
Playing at least the Final in each competition in front of spectators is an important element to the experience for all concerned, therefore Finals will only be held once spectators are allowed into grounds. All Finals will be held at neutral local grounds, which will be guided by the location of the finalists. Arrangements for Semi-Finals will be decided on a competition-by-competition basis.
Suffolk FA will shortly be in touch with all teams to arrange Semi-Final and Final dates and venues.
The following criteria will apply in relation to player eligibility for all Semi-Finals and Finals:
- All competing clubs must have completed their 2020-21 affiliation to Suffolk FA
- All players must be registered with their respective club for the 2020-21 season
- Players who played in the 2019-20 competition for a previous club or a higher grade county cup competition will remain cup tied
- The removal of criteria relating to player appearances preventing players from appearing in a Semi-Final or Final tie
In all cases, any club which is unable or unwilling to fulfil a fixture will be allowed to withdraw from the respective competition within 48 hours of the scheduled fixture date with no sanction.
If withdrawal is received with less than 48 hours’ notice, sanctions may be imposed. If a team’s withdrawal affects a Semi-Final tie, the opposition will automatically qualify for the Final. If a team’s withdrawal affects a Final tie, the beaten opposition for that Semi-Final will be invited to contest the final at a mutually agreed date.
2019-20 Youth County Cup Competitions
All 2019-20 Crown Imperial Youth County Cup competitions are to be terminated with immediate effect at the stage in which they remain, meaning no winners will be awarded for the 2019-20 season. This also includes all Under-18 competitions.
Suffolk FA Chief Executive Richard Neal said: “We wanted so desperately to conclude all County Cup competitions, but during Cup Panel discussions it quickly became clear that the additional factors in concluding the Youth competitions would make them too difficult to play.
“With most of the competitions having at least one Semi-Final remaining to play, with two still at the Quarter-Final stage, the proximity of the start of already-congested league seasons, school summer holidays, player eligibility and changing formats though age-groups made this toughest of decisions necessary.
“My heart goes out to those Youth team players and coaching staff who had made it to the latter stages of each competition. I also wish to extend my sincere thanks to Crown Imperial for their partnership during the past three seasons.
“For adult competitions, we look forward to concluding these and starting the season with some excellent matches which have silverware at stake.”
2020-21 County Cup competitions
It is our intention to run a full programme of Adult and Youth county cup competitions during the 2020-21 season, except the Youth Plate competitions which were introduced last season.
The Plate competitions have been suspended for a season to ease the pressure on league season schedules.
Action is pictured above from the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup Quarter-Final tie between Henley Athletic (red shirts) and Ipswich Town Under-18s (blue shirts) at Henley Community Centre back in early March. Henley won 1-0 to reach the semi-finals where they are due to meet Ipswich Wanderers.
Appetite to finish cup competitions