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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 June 2007, 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK
Future of Showgrounds is in doubt
Coleraine
The future of Irish League football at the Coleraine Showgrounds and the venue's hosting of the prestigious Milk Cup finals have been left in doubt.

A health and safety report has revealed major shortcomings which will force the stadium to close on grounds of public safety unless urgent repairs are made.

The report uncovered major structural defects in some parts of the ground.

The Milk Cup finals may have to be staged at another venue and Coleraine's Irish League future could be uncertain.

The assessment was carried out for Coleraine Council as it considers whether to take over the lease from Coleraine Football Club who have been tenants for more than 75 years.

The ground is owned by North Derry Agricultural Society.

The Bannsiders may face a fresh challenge to their future after beating the tax man and a High Court winding up order in recent years.

Milk Cup organisers, who have announced a challenge match between Northern Ireland and Everton to celebrate the event's 25th anniversary, had planned to use the Showgrounds on 14 July but they may now have to move the game elsewhere.



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