‘No choice’ over Fax postponement

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Calderdale Council has responded to criticism from Halifax RLFC over the early postponement of last Sunday’s pre-season game against Huddersfield Giants at the MBi Shay Stadium.

Fax chairman Michael Steele criticised the council for not consulting the club over the decision or allowing Fax out of hours access to the office to notify officials, volunteers and supporters.

However, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Steve Sweeney said the decision to postpone the match was taken only after careful consideration.

He said: “I regret that the friendly between Halifax RLFC and Huddersfield Giants could not go ahead, but unfortunately because of the weather and the state of the pitch we had no choice in this matter.

“By Saturday morning we were already concerned about the amount of rain which had fallen overnight, particularly as further rainfall was forecast for the evening and into Sunday morning.

“After an hour long pitch inspection on Saturday lunchtime we took the decision to postpone the game as the pitch was already very wet.”

Councillor Sweeney said it had become clear during the inspection that if the match had done ahead it would cause significant and lasting damage to the pitch.

That would have affected both rugby and football games at the stadium until remedial work could take place during the summer months.

“At this time of year, sports events can be affected by the weather as we saw with a number of postponed games across the area over the weekend,” he added.

“We contacted Halifax RLFC immediately, to let them know that the game had been cancelled and give them enough time to inform Huddersfield Giants, supporters and officials.

“We also arranged for Halifax RLFC to visit the stadium, at their request.

“We’re happy to work with both clubs to re-arrange the match as I know that fans will have been disappointed when the game was postponed.”

However, the clubs have since announced that Halifax’s only home pre-season game will not be rearranged.