Due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic both in Australia and England, including the protective measures implemented in respect of mass gatherings and the ongoing disruption of the English Premier League fixture, it is not possible to proceed with the event as scheduled in 2020.
The inaugural EVA Air Queensland Champions Cup was set to feature current EPL Football Clubs, Crystal Palace F.C. and West Ham United F.C. alongside A-League outfit, Brisbane Roar F.C..
The tournament was to kick-off at Townsville’s new Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Saturday 11 July when Brisbane Roar F.C. were to meet Crystal Palace F.C.. On Wednesday 15 July, the Roar would travel to Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast to tackle West Ham United F.C., before the two London clubs faced off at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday 18 July.
Upon confirming the postponement, TEG Live Managing Director Tim McGregor said that there is strong intent from all parties to try to find a date to reschedule the EVA Air Queensland Champions Cup.
“Following the strong response from the Australian public to these games, naturally all parties involved are disappointed this event is unable to proceed as planned this year. However, it’s the right and only decision to make during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with the safety and well-being of all concerned the priority,” said McGregor.
“TEG Live would like to extend our gratitude to the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland, EVA Air, Suncorp Stadium managed by ASM Global, Stadiums Queensland, City of Townsville and City of Gold Coast for their ongoing support of the Queensland Champions Cup concept and we hope to be able to deliver the event together in 2021.”
With the 2019/20 English Premier League season presently suspended due to COVID-19 measures, along with the A-League here in Australia, the availability of the teams to participate in these pre-season fixtures during July could also no longer be confirmed.
West Ham United F.C. manager David Moyes said: “It is a real shame that we will no longer be able to make it over to Queensland this summer, however, it is the right decision to postpone given the circumstances. The players and myself were really looking forward to seeing our fans and the people of Australia, especially as there was great excitement and support for the tournament.
“This is a situation that has affected the entire world, though, and the only thing that matters as this time is that people stay safe and well. We hope the tournament can be rearranged at a later date once things are back to normal, and we look forward to visiting Australia in the future.”
Crystal Palace F.C. Chairman Steve Parish said: “Firstly, the thoughts of everyone at Crystal Palace Football Club are with everyone affected by this terrible virus in Australia and around the world. Football is of course of secondary importance at this time of global crisis.
“It is bitterly disappointing not to be able to make the club’s landmark trip to Queensland this July for everyone here at the club, but especially so for our supporters in Australia who have been so excited since the recent announcement of our planned trip. We will do everything we possibly can to try to rearrange the tour for 2021, once things become clear with the Premier League schedule for the remainder of this season, and next year’s provisional timings too.”
Brisbane Roar F.C. CEO David Pourre said: “These unprecedented times are challenging for everyone, and whilst it’s disappointing to have these exciting fixtures postponed, Brisbane Roar places paramount importance on the safety and wellbeing of our players, coaches, their families and our dedicated fans.
“We still look forward to welcoming two of England’s most historic clubs to Queensland at a later date.”
Existing ticket buyers are encouraged to retain their ticket as they will be valid for the rescheduled dates. If supporters find they are unable to attend the new dates when they are announced, refunds will be available via the point of purchase.