Page last updated at 14:18 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 15:18 UK

School team in Sunday finals row

A football
The issue of football on a Sunday has been raised in parliament

A girls' football team from a Western Isles school look set to miss out playing in a national tournament because it will be staged on a Sunday.

The squad from Back have qualified for the 16-team Coca-Cola Sevens finals at Tynecastle in Edinburgh on 25 May.

A number of parents have withdrawn their children, citing religious observance on the isles.

Coca-Cola said an "extraordinary" Scottish Premier League season had caused problems finding a venue.

Western Isles MSP, Alasdair Allan, has raised the matter in the Scottish Parliament after asking organisers to be flexible.

In Wednesday's motion to the parliament, Mr Allan said previous competitions had not been staged on a Sunday.

Congestion in the football calendar and an extraordinary season with Rangers and the bad weather affecting SPL fixtures meant a lot of pitches could not be given over to the tournament
Coca-Cola spokeswoman

He said sports should be open to all, regardless of race or religion.

The Nationalist MSP, who has written to the organisers, called on them to "to avert a situation in which a team in the final would be disqualified simply because of the religious traditions of the families from which they come".

The motion received cross-party support from about a dozen MSPs, but did not go to debate.

Neil Graham, whose daughter is in the team, said the community of Back, on Lewis, was proud of their achievement in reaching the finals.

Seven years

However, he said the parents and youngsters tried to adhere to as much as possible to their religious beliefs.

A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola said the tournament had been held on a Saturday for the last seven years and organisers had tried to do the same this year.

She said: "We have really tried. We tried to find a venue that would have us on a Saturday, but the logistics were completely against us.

"Congestion in the football calendar and an extraordinary season with Rangers and the bad weather affecting SPL fixtures meant a lot of pitches could not be given over to the tournament."

The spokeswoman added the situation concerning Back was "terribly unfortunate".


SEE ALSO
Sunday golfing knocked off course
31 Mar 08 |  Highlands and Islands
Sunday sailing decision postponed
27 Mar 08 |  Highlands and Islands

RELATED BBC LINKS

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2020 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific