Football America has announced that following extensive discussions with BUCS and BAFA there has been a change to the dates for the 2018-19 University All Star Games as well as the entry requirements regarding eligibility.
On their site, Football America explained that the announcement made in December was perhaps premature. In a statement Football America explained:
‘After initial discussions in September 2018 with BAFA and BUCS Competitions staff, information had not been passed further to BAFA and BUCS management respectively making the press release news to both parties. As a result, BUCS and BAFA raised concerns about the date of the game, leading to Football America UK speaking with BAFA Operations Director Steve Rains and BUCS SAG chair Jonathan Rooney. With concerns about the availability of referees for any dates surrounding the National League season due to a shortage of officials, it has been determined that the earliest date possible for a game to take place would be after the culmination of the BAFANL season in August.‘
Further to this, after listening to feedback from the Britball community, eligibility will be opened to ALL Players from BUCs teams, irrespective of Nationality.
Football America has said they will look to release dates of trials in the near future. Commenting on the agreement, Steve Rains BAFA Operations Director is quoted as saying:
‘Following some concerns from both BAFA and BUCS around the original announcement of this game, we held a very productive and positive meeting between BAFA/BUCS and FAUK. The outcome was an agreement to move the game for 2019 out of both the BUCS and BAFANL regular season windows – this ensures both the quality of the game, the potential availability of referees and safeguards any adverse effects on our competitions. We also agreed that the format of the game would be changed to make it a genuine All-Star format, with no nationality restrictions to avoid any confusion with a potential return of the GB Students National Team which BUCS are considering. We are very grateful to Dave Hagger and Joe Walker from FAUK for listening to our concerns and for agreeing to these changes, which address them. On this basis BAFA will sanction the game for 2019 following confirmation of the arrangements. We’re looking forward to an exciting match.”
BUCS SAG Chair Jonathan Rooney also weighed in, speaking directly to Football America
‘I’m extremely pleased to see this game return, there is a huge appetite for it in the community. We hit a few scheduling snags and on further discussion with BAFA, BUCS and FAUK we have decided to alter the details and delay the game. We have made this decision to ensure that this game is a highlight that shows everything the league has to offer.’
This may cause a few issues, namely that those players and coaches who initially applied must now rethink their applications.