Royle rejects fund-raising friendly

BLUES boss Joe Royle has rejected a suggestion that Ipswich and Norwich should use their spare FA Cup fourth round Saturday to play a charity match for the Tsunami appeal.

By Derek Davis

BLUES boss Joe Royle has rejected a suggestion that Ipswich and Norwich should use their spare FA Cup fourth round Saturday to play a charity match for the Tsunami appeal.

The weekend of January 29/30 has now become free after Town were beaten 3-1 by Bolton in the third round, while Norwich lost 1-0 at West Ham.

Royle is not keen on including another fixture, although concedes he may have tried to used it for a friendly match against Lazio, which was part of the fee agree for Matteo Sereni.

The idea of a charity match to raise money for the disaster, in which 150,000 lost their lives and millions were displaced, was first mooted by EADT Blues' Views panellist David Street and swiftly picked up by Radio Suffolk listeners and other Town fans.

But Royle last night dismissed the idea and said: “We are not looking for any extra games and I am sure Norwich will feel exactly the same. We are in a 46-game season and this is definitely a no-goer.

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“We could, perhaps, have fulfilled that game on the blank Saturday but arranging an additional game is the last thing on my mind at the moment.”

Playing the Serie A side is unlikely, as Lazio are away to Reggina on Sunday, January 30.

Although Lazio are contractually obliged to fulfil the friendly, they have been less than helpful in arranging a date to play Ipswich.

They refused to play Town in pre-season, preferring bigger pay days elsewhere in England.

Ipswich have 18 league games left and, although there are 17 Saturdays of the season remaining, Town will still play Watford and Rotherham at home and Cardiff City away, on Tuesday nights.

There will be no fixtures over the Easter period to cater for international matches, which will deprive the Blues of their traditionally lucrative Bank Holiday fixtures.

They will play two games in three days in April when they entertain Derby and Rotherham on the Saturday and Tuesday respectively.

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