Umeå threatens to drop out of UEFA Women's Cup

Even if Umeå qualifies for the UEFA Women's Cup quarter-final from the group play, that is to take place in Oslo September 12-17, they might have to drop out of the tournament.

Their home arena Gammliavallen still has not passed the UEFA requirements for field turf and general manager Roland Arnqvist says that if Umeå has to play all their Women's Cup matches away from home, they simply can't afford to participate. According to the tabloid Expressen, the total loss if Umeå advances to the final next spring without having a single home game, can be about SEK 5 millions. That sounds hugely exaggerated to me - I don't think they've ever had more than SEK 2 millions gross earnings over a complete Women's Cup run. But Arnqvist says he's really worried about the financial consequenses, and I can understand that.

Arnqvist also claims that UEFA is deliberatly discriminating against northern clubs in their artificial turf regulations, since the powerfull clubs in southern and central Europe are opposed to all kinds of artificial turf.

The field turf on Gammliavallen was approved in a field test this summer, but it must also pass a laboratory test, that as yet hasn't been performed. There is no time to change the turf if it should fail that test.

The general secretary of the Swedish Football Association, Sune Hellströmmer, says he is surprised that this hasn't been resolved yet: "We had a meeting with the club and the city of Umeå already in February and made clear what they had to do". He continues "If Umeå should refuse to play the tournament, it would be a big scandal, and Umeå could be banned from UEFA competitions for several years."

"This isn't meant as a threat from us, but if we can't find the money, we can't. What are we supposed to do?", finished Roland Arnqvist.

Gräset avgörande för Umeå IK:s cupdeltagande
Expressen: Umeå hotar nobba Uefa

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