Derry side Institute have made the decision to withdraw from this season's Irish Cup, citing the absence of elite status and lack of additional financial support.
The club's board made the decisions following 'detailed consultation' with coaches, players, and club officials.
'Stute were due to play PSNI in the Round of 32 and are not the fourth club to withdraw, following QUB, H&W Welders and Newry City
"We understand that this decision will have an additional detrimental impact on our supporters who have been deprived of attending live football games and supporting the team for almost a year now," began a club statement.
"Nonetheless, the Board have concluded that we cannot reasonably request our players to re-engage at this stage without the acquisition of elite status, and thus a guarantee of no further unscheduled cessation of training or matches. In our view, this has the potential to create additional strain on players and would be contrary to the Club’s principles on promoting individual and group wellbeing.
"Additionally, we have concluded that without the guarantee of additional financial support to cover potential expenses in relation to players, coaches, facility hire, security, travel, and refereeing costs, the Clubs financial viability could be seriously jeopardised, particularly if it transpires that any, or all, games have to be played with no, or limited, attendance.
"It has been an extremely difficult year for everyone at the club, but we hope that the reductions in Covid 19 infections and the rollout of the vaccination programme will give you all renewed hope and encouragement for the challenges ahead. For our part, we will endeavour to keep our supporters up to date with any further developments in relation to club matters via this official website and our other social media platforms."
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