As many people know, we have decided not to run our traditional World Cup tournament in 2019.
The tournament has been a major milestone in the club calendar – and in the local area – since its launch over ten years ago. Many teams tell us it is one of their favourite events of the year, so why aren’t we running it this year?
The tournament has grown over the years and has attracted teams from far and wide. With the prestige of the event, for some, progressing through the rounds and winning the event in their age group has become increasingly important. Unfortunately that has seen a rise in poor behaviour at the event from a minority of players, parents and coaches.
Our tournament volunteers, including adult and youth referees plus tournament officials have received some unpleasant treatment in recent years. This makes the event harder to run on a volunteer basis year by year. The fewer people willing to help in running the event, the harder it becomes to stage.
Behaviour at the 2018 event saw several attending teams facing charges from their local FA organisations which prompted a rethink on the size and style of the event.
We experimented with the idea of running a smaller event with a different approach to registering teams for the event but concluded that it was unlikely to work well and so the organisers decided the best alround decision was to not run the event this year.
Hopefully the fact that such a well loved event is not going ahead, largely because of the behaviour of a minority of people, will give everyone pause for thought.
We hope to resume the event in some form in 2020 and in the meantime hope everyone enjoys those tournaments that they do attend this year – and that they play, coach and support the game wholeheartedly, fairly and respectfully.
Have a great summer!