Concerns over Sunday football precedent for Shamrock Park after Portadown FC v Linfield FC game change

Portadown FC’s match with Linfield FC, scheduled for Sunday, has raised concerns that it could set a precedent for matches at Shamrock Park on Sundays in future.

The match, which is due to kick off at 3pm in Belfast’s Windsor Park, is hosted by Linfield and marks the opening Danske Bank Premiership clash between the teams.

It is understood the reorganising of the fixture was out of the hands of Portadown FC.

While some have raised concerns about the match being played on Sunday for religious reasons, others are concerned that it may create a new precedent for football fixtures

Shamrock Park in Portadown, Co Armagh. A Linfield spokesperson said: "The Members of Linfield Football Club took the decision in 2020 to permit games at Windsor Park on a Sunday in limited circumstances where the club has European commitments on the preceding Thursday. The club does not intend to revert to Sunday football in any other circumstances and kick-off times will be selected to avoid any clashes with local church services." Photo courtesy of Google

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Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council DUP Councillor Darryn Causby, who is a football fan, feels residents in Portadown’s Shamrock Park area may not be very keen on matches played on Sundays.

He said: “When a match is on there is a huge increase in traffic. For residents living close to Shamrock Park needing access in and out of their homes on the Brownstown Road, I can understand why they would be frustrated.

“There is that usual increase in traffic and parking issues that come with match day.

“If that were to happen on a Sunday I can understand their frustrations,” said Councillor Causby.

He said some people are concerned that with this first match being held on a Sunday in Windsor Park, it could have a knock-on effect which may lead to matches held on Sundays in other stadia including Shamrock Park.

“This might be concerning for residents who live in and around the Shamrock Park area on an ongoing basis,” said Councillor Causby.

It is understood Linfield FC has agreed to meet local residents near Windsor Park regarding Sunday fixtures.

A Linfield spokesperson said: “The Members of Linfield Football Club took the decision in 2020 to permit games at Windsor Park on a Sunday in limited circumstances where the club has European commitments on the preceding Thursday. The club does not intend to revert to Sunday football in any other circumstances and kick-off times will be selected to avoid any clashes with local church services.”