THREE premier league football matches are scheduled for Good Friday. forcing fans and faithful to rethink their allegiances.
When Tottenham. the North London club, play against Norwich City at 12 noon on Good Friday, they will not only break with recent tradition, but also, according to Bishop Vincent Nichols in North London, "force many youngsters to make a choice between following their football club and following Jesus Christ". Cardinal Basil Hume led Bishop Nichols and Anglican Bishop Brian Master of Edmonton in criticising, last week, the Football Association schedule of football matches on one of the most important days in the Christian calendar.
A spokesperson for B-Sky-B television, which has c contract with the Premiere League for exclusive live coverage of its matches, denied accusations that the controversial scheduling was forced upon the FA by Sky. "We do not plan to show the game between the Spurs and Norwich live. The schedule of this match was agreed upon by the Football
Association last August,the spokesperson said.
One priest, whose church is near the Selhurst Park ground where Wimbledon take on Crystal Palace at 3pm on Good Friday. said the "general feeling is not so much that we will be losing out on attendance, but rather that the problem will be the noise". Fr Kevin Hayden, assistant parish priest at St Andrew, in Thornton Heath, said Church leaders "just expected the times to be different, to take into account when services would be held."