Durham FA hit out at Hartlepool United after Durham Challenge Cup withdrawal just hours ahead of quarter-final match against Sunderland

Durham County FA has expressed its disappointment with Hartlepool United’s decision to cancel their Durham Challenge Cup quarter-final against Sunderland and withdraw from the competition.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 4:14 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 4:14 pm
Hartlepool United manager Dave Challinor during the Vanarama National League match between Harrogate Town and Hartlepool United at Wetherby Road, Harrogate on Thursday 26th December 2019. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)

Hartlepool’s youth team also played just 24-hours before the scheduled Durham Challenge Cup match, which takes priority over any league fixture.

In response to the cancellation, Durham FA issued the following statement on Twitter:

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Durham County FA Statement relating to the cancellation of the Challenge Cup game between Sunderland AFC and Hartlepool United FC.

“The Durham County FA issued the dates for all round of the Challenge Cup in August 2019.

“As the competition progresses the teams left in the competition receive the draw for the next round via our YouTube Channel and email.

“On Friday 20th December 2019 Sunderland AFC and Hartlepool United FC were provided with the draw giving them 36 days to agree a date and play the fixture before the end of round date which, for the quarter final, is Saturday 25th January 2020.

“Sunderland AFC scheduled the game to be played on Thursday 23rd January 2020 and Hartlepool United were informed of this on Tuesday 14th January 2020.

“County Cup competitions take priority over league games.

“The cancellation of this fixture is very disappointing especially to the County FA and Sunderland AFC who have now got to cancel all preparations put in place.”