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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

UEFA call off Town's torpedo tie

PUBLISHED: 13:53 12 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:31 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Town's UEFA Cup clash with Torpedo Moscow, scheduled for Portman Road tomorrow night, has been postponed.

It will now go ahead on Thursday, September 20, with the second leg in Russia a week later, as originally planned.

IPSWICH Town's UEFA Cup clash with Torpedo Moscow, scheduled for Portman Road tomorrow night, has been postponed.

It will now go ahead on Thursday, September 20, with the second leg in Russia a week later, as originally planned.

Europe's governing body today cancelled all further UEFA club competition matches due to be played in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Cup this week as a mark of respect for the victims of yesterday's terrorist attacks in the United States.

The decision has also affected Town's forthcoming Premiership away games at Southampton and Manchester United.

The visit to the south coast, due to take place next Wednesday, will now be delayed until later in the season.

And Town will request their trip to Old Trafford is held back 24 hours, from Saturday week to the next day, September 23.

Reacting to the news, Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks said: "I have been on the telephone to UEFA headquarters in Switzerland and a decision was made at 9am.

"At a time like this everything pales into insignificance, but unfortunately there will be a knock-on effect with regard to our situation, both from the playing aspect and as regards our supporters.

"But at a time like this our hearts go out to the American nation and we have to respect the decision that has been made, as indeed we do.

"I know the Champions League matches went ahead last night, but I do not think that UEFA should be criticised.

"In a perfect world the situation would have been different, but at a time like this I think any criticism of the governing body would be inappropriate in the extreme."

Town secretary David Rose sped from the ground by car, en route to London's Heathrow Airport immediately after the UEFA decision.

He was going to meet the Torpedo party, whose flight from Moscow was due to land at around midday.

Sheepshanks continued: "It is unfortunate that they have got as far as they have, but there was nothing we could do.

"We want David to meet them and explain the situation personally to them. It is as distressing for them as it is for us but in a situation like this what can you do?"

The implications of the call-off are that Town's scheduled Premiership match at Southampton next Wednesday will have to be rearranged.

Sheepshanks also revealed that he will be asking Manchester United to put back the visit to Old Trafford, due on Saturday week, to the Sunday.

A solemn Sheepshanks was flanked by manager George Burley as they faced national and local media representatives at Portman Road this morning.

Burley said: "The decision has been made and you have to respect that. Plans have to be changed at a time like this. Things like that are insignificant.

"Everybody was so shocked and horrified at the deaths and injuries in America yesterday and, even though it is disappointing for this long-awaited match to be called off, we just feel shocked and numbed by the tragedy and our hearts go out to those involved."

Burley said that today's training session would go ahead as normal and regarding his players he said: "They are obviously disappointed not to be playing tomorrow night but like everyone else they understand the full implications of the decision that has been made by UEFA today."

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