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Last Updated: Monday, 9 May, 2005, 08:15 GMT 09:15 UK
Linfield criticise supporters ban
Linfield supporters will not be able to attend the Oval fixture
Linfield have hit back at the decision to ban its supporters from the Setanta Cup game against Glentoran at the Oval on 17 May.

Glentoran were forced to take the decision after health and safety issues saw regulations being imposed.

In a statement, Linfield said that the decision to close the terracing had been expected, but surprised that the away stand was also to be closed.

They say that they will be voicing their disappointment at the decision.

The Linfield statement went to say: "We acknowledge that entry and exit to the Oval is difficult and potentially dangerous for our supporters.

"Their safety has to come first, and this is the one positive to come from the decision.

"But the footballing authorities must now examine the conditions which our supporters endure when attending the Oval and bring change to ensure that they can enter and exit safely and remain safe once inside.

"We do not feel that this is a judgement on Linfield Football Club for the events of 23 April, but purely a health and safety issue and we believe that both clubs are losing out as well as the organisers."

Glentoran announced on Saturday that Linfield fans will not be able to attend the game following the IFA's decision to make it an all-ticket, all-seater game.

Glentoran have said they cannot secure terracing and erect passageways to the away seated area in time.

"We want Linfield fans but it is a health and safety issue," Glentoran chief executive Tom Dick said.

Serious crowd trouble marred the big Irish Premier League clash between the Belfast sides at the Oval on 23 April when Glentoran won to help them secure the Irish League title.


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