European home fixtures set to move

May 18, 2023 | All News

We are disappointed to inform supporters that Inver Park’s synthetic surface has failed one element of the required FIFA Pro Standard pitch test and this means 2023/24 European home legs will be played at an alternative venue.

As a stadium, Inver Park remains a Uefa Category 2 Stadium, as per the 2023/24 Uefa Club Licence issued by the Irish Football Association and is fit for all domestic fixtures.

Uefa’s competition rules state that we have until 2nd June to nominate an alternative venue to play our European home games and we will announce where this will be in due course.

General Manager Niall Curneen said: “We are bitterly disappointed to have received the news from the test lab that Inver Park has missed out by just one element of the certification required to host European fixtures this summer.

“When our 4G playing surface was installed back in 2018, the pitch had an expected lifespan of 5-7 years. Despite still being considered a top-quality surface for NIFL Premiership and all domestic fixtures, we have unfortunately fallen just short of the increasingly high criteria imposed by FIFA.

“The experts advising us through this process have described us as being ‘victims of our own success’ in that while Inver Park has become such a fantastic community hub which is used seven days per week, this has unfortunately accelerated the wear and tear which has led to the situation we find ourselves in today.

“As a club, we are and will always be for the town but will learn from this situation and take the advice provided to shape our future use of facilities. As part of that, we will now begin the process of exploring the possibility of replacing the surface within the next 12 months.

“This once again highlights the need for more sporting facilities around the town, outside of the two artificial pitches funded by the club over the past five years.

“Larne Football Club has and aims to continue bringing world football’s biggest club competitions to the town, so we must work together with the relevant stakeholders to find a solution that ensures these games can be played at Inver Park consistently in the future.

“To our supporters, please be assured that we will work with you to make it as easy as possible to attend our home legs in July. While the news is fresh to us all, discussions have already begun around extra transport for home legs.

“More information will become available as soon as we have it, and we thank you all in advance for your understanding on what is a difficult situation for the club. We are Larne.”

Other News