Pompey anger at Remembrance Sunday fixture

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin   Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin Picture: Joe Pepler
Smoke bombs were let off during Pompey's match against Charlton today. Picture: Joe Pepler

Steward treated after smoke bombs let off following Pompey defeat

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Pompey have insisted they have no power to prevent their Fratton Park FA Cup fixture with Aldershot being moved to Remembrance Sunday.

And Bob Beech, who has been organising club commemorations, has branded the BBC and Football Association a ‘disgrace’.

The Blues have been informed the first round fixture with the Shots will take place on Sunday, November 9.

Kicking off at 2pm, the club are to receive £12,500 as one of eight chosen for BBC coverage, although it will not be shown live.

As a result, the fixture clashes with Remembrance Sunday, prompting much anger from supporters.

Pompey had previously drawn up plans with the Royal British Legion over hosting their own tribute in anticipation of a Saturday match.

According to Beech, that now faces being scrapped.

In the meantime, chief executive Mark Catlin has stressed the club have been helpless over the change.

He said: ‘We are contractually obliged to hold the game as and when dictated by the television companies and the FA.

‘It is such a shame, I had already met Bob and Tim House (Royal British Legion) on Wednesday afternoon over how we would mark Remembrance Sunday.

‘Now, unfortunately, there may be other commitments for the armed services.’

The stance of those running the game has incensed Beech, who was behind the current home shirt’s First World War theme.

He added: ‘At Pompey we were going to have a Royal Marines bugler performing the Last Post, standard bearers forming a guard of honour when the players came out and 500 free tickets for the armed services.

‘Instead the match is now being held on the same day four very big services are to take place in Portsmouth. If I was a gambling man I would have a pound on nothing now happening as these guys are busy elsewhere.

‘I remember in the 1980s it was said hooligans would kill football, well I think it is going to be suicide. Football is going to eat itself.

‘Nobody should be playing on Remembrance Sunday, there are another 364 days in the year to play, that one day should remain sacred.

‘But the BBC and FA are a disgrace.

‘I am amazed to be saying this to The News, but I have to say the club is, for once, the innocent party.’