London “fine” with cup venue, say the RFL

The RFL has, for the second time in the same day, responded to criticism, this time regarding their selection of Challenge Cup semi-final venues.

MP Greg Mulholland wrote a letter to the governing body, asking for the venue of the London v Wigan semi-final to be moved from Leigh Sports Village, saying that it was unfair on the Broncos due to the venue’s proximity to Wigan.

That prompted the RFL to issue a statement, in which they state that the Broncos said were “fine” with the venues proposed last month.

The statement read: “The selection of Leigh Sports Village and John Smith’s Stadium as the venues for this weekend’s Tetley’s Challenge Cup semi-finals was made following consultation and agreement with all eight clubs involved in the quarter-finals.

“A number of alternative venues were considered and the final selections were based on various criteria, including availability, size and quality of facilities, associated match costs, commercial viability and the views of broadcast partners.

“On June 26 London Broncos confirmed to the RFL that they were “fine” with the options for all UK-based semi-finals and proposed that in the event of them being drawn against Catalan Dragons, their semi-final should be staged in London.

“Given the size of London’s current fan base and their historical levels of travelling support, the view was taken that Leigh Sports Village provides the best opportunity to present a major televised sporting spectacle to attendees and TV viewers in the most positive light whilst maximising the financial return for the two competing clubs who share 100 per cent of the receipts generated.”

London face Wigan live on the BBC on Saturday, July 27, while in the other semi-final, Warrington face Hull at Huddersfield’s John Smith’s Stadium on Sunday.

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