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by Hayley Anderson, Repporter
Monday, April 14, 2014
A Romford sports organisation has come under fire after a children’s football team travelled abroad to play a match only to find the opposition knew nothing of the game.
Sports Tours Limited, based in Colchester Road, Romford, organised two games in Holland for Bedfordshire football team, Potton Colts FC.
But the British youngsters were left upset when the match they were due to play on the second day of the trip did not go ahead because the Dutch team claimed they did not know about the arrangement.
Manager of Potton Colts FC, Roy Bloxham, said: “We are so angry that the children have been so let down. The main reason I organised the trip was because many of the boys have never been abroad before but their memories are all ruined.”
The £3,000 trip was booked in November and the club had been fundraising, including holding game nights and cake sales, to pay for it.
Secretary of the club, Sally Broadwith, said: “We just couldn’t believe it that we raised all of that money for just one day. I just don’t want other teams to be let down like we were.”
The children were told they were going to play against two teams in Holland.
The first game took place but the match against Dutch team SV Budel did not as the club was shut when they arrived. When someone did turn up the youngsters were told the Dutch manager was on holiday.
Dad of one of the children, Mark Gauge, said: “Not only did I have to take two days off of work so I could go out there to watch my son play football, he was really disappointed that he didn’t get to play.”
Sports Tours Limited said: “Sports Tours had received two written confirmations from SV Budel and a telephone call to confirm this match would take place.
“Sports Tours has been arranging overseas football tours and tournaments for 25 years and we arrange around 5,000 matches per year in the UK and Europe without issues of this kind.”
They added: “Whilst Sports Tours took all reasonable steps to ensure the match would take place, everyone has been let down by SV Budel (Holland).”
The company confirmed that Potton Colts FC would receive compensation after “a full investigation” has taken place.