County rebuff Doncaster request for early kick-off because of England World Cup clash

NO MOVE: County will kick off at 3pm despite a Doncaster request to move forward because of England's World Cup quarter-final <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
NO MOVE: County will kick off at 3pm despite a Doncaster request to move forward because of England's World Cup quarter-final (Image: Newsquest)

NEWPORT County AFC have turned down Doncaster Rovers’ late request to move the kick-off time forward for Saturday’s League Two clash at Rodney Parade because of England’s World Cup quarter-final.

The Exiles get under way against the Rovers at 3pm with the last-eight tie in Qatar kicking off at 7pm.

That led to Doncaster making an enquiry about moving the League Two game forward to give their fans the chance to get back to Yorkshire to watch England on the box.

However, the logistical challenges of such a late switch made that a no-go for County, who would have risked frustrating their own fans by changing from the usual routine.

“The club have been in discussions for more than a month in an attempt to ensure travelling fans would have the best opportunity to watch a potential World Cup quarter-final for England after Rovers’ game in South Wales,” read a Doncaster statement.

“Further conversations have been held on Monday morning following Gareth Southgate’s side’s progress in the competition, but the kick-off time will stay the same due to a lack of appetite from the home club to bring the fixture forward.”

Doncaster fans that want to see the Three Lions in action must now decide whether to watch in Newport with ‘French’ supporters, get over the border or simply watch the League Two game on iFollow for £10.

Five other League Two games kick-off at 3pm - Grimsby v Tranmere, Stevenage v Mansfield, Sutton v Colchester, Swindon v AFC Wimbledon and Salford v Walsall.

The Saddlers adopted a different tone to Doncaster, stating: “We held discussions with Salford to request an earlier kick-off time.

However, the hosts have opted to keep the kick-off time at 3pm and we respect their decision as the home club.”

County’s game with Crewe last weekend was shifted from Saturday to Friday to avoid a potential clash with a last 16 tie for England or Wales In the end it avoided going up against USA versus Netherlands.

Saturday’s game will clash with Morocco/Spain against Portugal/Switzerland.