Eusebio Cup organisers shed further light on cancellation after Rangers fans blamed
By James Black
Organisers of the Eusebio Cup have apologised to Rangers and Benfica after the deal to take place in the tournament was cancelled at short notice.
The two sides were due to meet in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on Friday but a statement released by the Light Blues on Saturday confirmed Benfica had withdrawn without any explanation.
Elite Soccer Entertainment’s boss Fernando Pacheco had been quoted as blaming the cancellation on poor ticket sales to Rangers fans.
“Portuguese fans had been responding to the visit, Rangers fans had not,” Pachecho said, as quoted by the Daily Record website.
“After what they’ve been through the past few years and fought back, there should be support. But they were not buying tickets.”
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Tuesday’s statement from the organisers has since apologised to fans for that and called it a “false statement”.
“Due to unforeseen reasons and poor ticket sales it was not possible for ESE to meet the commitments acquired towards Sport Lisboa e Benfica and Glasgow Rangers under the terms and conditions that were agreed upon.” Elite Soccer Entertainment said in a statement, as quoted by the Evening Times.
“This situation goes beyond the control or responsibility of any of the clubs above mentioned.
“ESE has the outmost respect for Benfica, Rangers and especially the fans. There has been numerous rumours and speculations blaming Rangers supporters for not purchasing enough tickets. That is a false statement and Elite Soccer Entertainment would like to put it to rest.
“We deeply regret what has happened, and we would like to extend our sincerest apologies for any inconveniences that may have been caused to the clubs involved and to their supporters.
The sides were due to meet at the 24,000-seat Tim Horton’s Field however, there had been complaints on social media over ticket prices for the game.
The Gers are due to return to North America in January when they take part in the Florida Cup with Colombia’s Atletico Nacional and Corinthians of Brazil.
Rangers return to Premiership action on October 13 when they face St. Johnstone after the international break.
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