Offiah backs Challenge Cup final campaign

Martin Offiah has given his backing to the campaign to keep the Challenge Cup final on the list of protected free-to-air TV events.

Offiah, 43, is widely regarded to have scored the finest final try of all time – his length of the field effort against Leeds in the 1994 Cup final for Wigan.

The flying winger scored a record-breaking 501 tries throughout his career after being plucked from rugby union by then cup-kings Widnes, before he moved on to Wigan and latterly London Broncos and Salford.

Offiah said: “The Challenge Cup is the competition players and supporters alike want to win.  It has provided some of the great moments in this country’s sporting history and some of my favourite from my career.  It’s also vital for the development of the game creating new supporters ever year. 

“Removing the Challenge Cup from the protected list could see it move away from free-to-air TV completely which would dramatically reduce the number of people able to see the game.  How can our great sport be expected to grow if nobody can see it?”

The government commissioned Davies Report recommended that the Challenge Cup final, along with the Winter Olympics, should be removed from the list of free-to-air events.

Supporters Direct and the All Party Parliamentary Rugby League Group have set up a campaign to oppose the recommendation and a 12 week consulation period is now open during which rugby league fans can add their support to the campaign.

The information below is from Supporters Direct.

Sign the Petition: An online petition has been set up by Laura Harrison, Rugby League Development Officer for Supporters Direct at http://www.gopetition.com/online/32754.html. Be sure to add your name. 

Respond to the Consultation directly: Further details of the consultation can be found at http://www.culture.gov.uk/reference_library/consultations/6496.aspx giving you the chance to respond directly with your comments.   

We’ve drafted a letter for you to use at http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ATd7byPUmVzIZGRkdDV2cDVfMjdjbW5weGprbQ&hl=en  

Write to your MP: Almost 100 MPs have already signed Early Day Motion 48, a petition for politicians, supporting the campaign.  Please write to your MP and request that they do the same.  You can write to your MP quickly and easily at www.writetothem.com using the letter we’ve drafted for you at https://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ATd7byPUmVzIZGRkdDV2cDVfMjhnM3Ric2ZoZg&hl=en 

Pass it on: Email details of this campaign to your fellow fans, friends, family. Tweet it, Facebook it (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?ref=profile&id=693471392#/group.php?gid=270980236158), email it and text it. Let everyone know that they can do something to Keep the Cup Free for All but make sure you sign the petition at least.  

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