Visa wrangle turns Equador’s Milk Cup dream sour

North America Sporting Club de Ecuador would have been the first ever representatives from the South American country at the Northern Ireland international youth football tournament but a visa wrangle has dashed their hopes.

Ipswich Town have stepped into the breach and will contest the junior competition, kicking off with a game against holders Brentford next Monday.

“It was a long, difficult and complicated process but the club contacted us over the weekend to break the news that they have been unable to secure the travel documents,” explained Milk Cup spokesman Jim Sandford on Monday.

JUNIOR SECTION

Monday, 29th July

Noon - Co. Down v Watford (Broughshane), San Luis de Colina v North Dublin SL (Riada Stadium 2, Ballymoney, Southampton FC v Cavan & Monaghan DL (Rugby Avenue, Coleraine), Japan FA v Co. Fermanagh (Anderson Park, Coleraine); 1.30pm - Plymouth Argyle v Strikers FC South Coast (Clough, Ballymena), Brentford v Ipswich Town (Castlerock), Dundalk SL v Co. Armagh (Parker Avenue, Portrush), Co. Londonderry v Co. Antrim (Seahaven, Portstewart); 3.30pm - Swindon Town v Everton (Anderson Park, Coleraine), Co. Tyrone v Liverpool (Scroggy Road, Limavady).

Tuesday, 30th July

Noon - Co. Tyrone v Southampton FC (Broughshane, Ballymena), Co. Antrim v Brentford (Anderson Park, Coleraine), Co. Fermanagh v Plymouth Argyle (The Warren, Portstewart); 1.30pm - Co. Armagh v Swindon Town (Clough, Ballymena), Everton v Dundalk SL (Rugby Avenue, Coleraine), Co. Down v San Luis de Colina (Castlerock), Watford v North Dublin SL (Parker Avenue, Portrush), Liverpool v Cavan & Monaghan DL (Riada Stadium, Ballymoney); 3.30pm – Ipswich Town v Co. Londonderry (Anderson Park, Coleraine), Strikers FC South Coast v Japan FA (Scroggy Road, Limavady).

PREMIER SECTION

Monday, 29th July

3.30pm – Strikers FC South Coast v TuS Altenberge (Broughshane, Ballymena), Otago Utd v Co. Fermanagh (The Warren, Portstewart), Newcastle Utd v O’Higgins FC (Showgrounds, Coleraine); 5pm - Cruz Azul v Cherry Orchard (Castlerock), Co. Down v Vendee FC (Parker Avenue, Portrush); 6pm - SC Corinthians v Bohemian FC (Seahaven, Portstewart), Club America de Mexico v Co. Tyrone Riada Stadium, Ballymoney); 7pm - Co. Londonderry v CSKA Moscow (Scroggy Road, Limavady); 8pm - Manchester Utd v Co. Antrim (Showgrounds, Ballymena), Liverpool v Co. Armagh (Riverside Stadium, Drumahoe).

Tuesday, 30th July

3.30pm - Vendee FC v Cruz Azul (Broughshane, Ballymena), CSKA Moscow v Bohemian FC (The Warren, Portstewart); 5pm - Cherry Orchard v Co. Down (Riada Stadium 2, Ballymoney), Co. Fermanagh v Club A. de Mexico (Rugby Avenue, Coleraine), Co. Tyrone v Otago Utd (Parker Avenue, Portrush); 7pm - O’Higgins FC v Liverpool (Scroggy Rd., Limavady), Co. Antrim v TuS Altenberge (Seahaven, Portstewart); 8pm - Co. Londonderry v SC Corinthians (Riada Stadium, Ballymoney), Co. Armagh v Newcastle Utd (Showgrounds, Ballymena), Manchester Utd v Strikers FC South Coast (Showgrounds, Coleraine).

ELITE SECTION

Monday, 29th July

8pm - N. Ireland v Denmark (Showgrounds, Coleraine), USA v Mexico (Riada Stadium, Ballymoney).

Wednesday, 31st July

8pm - Mexico v Denmark (Showgrounds, Ballymena), USA v N. Ireland, (Riverside Stadium, Drumahoe).

Friday, 2nd August

1.30pm - Denmark v USA (Scroggy Road, Limavady); 6pm - N. Ireland v Mexico (Showgrounds, Ballymena).