Doncaster Rovers accuse Newport County of ‘lack of appetite’ over avoiding England World Cup clash

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Doncaster Rovers fans could be forced to choose between club and country this weekend after Newport County refused to budge on their scheduled kick-off time.

Rovers make the long trip to South Wales on Saturday for the League Two clash, which will go ahead at 3pm despite the club’s attempts to move the game forward.

Gareth Southgate’s England will play France in the World Cup quarter-final at 7pm on the same day, meaning many away supporters will still be travelling home when the match starts.

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A Doncaster Rovers statement said: “The club have been in discussions for more than a month in an attempt to ensure travelling fans would have the best opportunity to watch a potential World Cup quarter-final for England after Rovers’ game in South Wales.

Rodney Parade, the home of Newport County (photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images).Rodney Parade, the home of Newport County (photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images).
Rodney Parade, the home of Newport County (photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images).

“Further conversations have been held on Monday morning following Gareth Southgate’s side’s progress in the competition, but the kick-off time will stay the same due to a lack of appetite from the home club to bring the fixture forward.”

Newport moved their match against Crewe Alexandra last week to avoid a potential clash with England or Wales – who have since been dumped out of the competition – in the Round of 16.

Robert Page’s Wales side finished bottom of Group B following three uninspiring displays which yielded just one point.

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Thickening the plot further is Graham Coughlan recent appointment as Exiles boss.

The former defender has twice been in the frame to take over at Doncaster in the last year.

Coughlan was interested in replacing Richie Wellens after he was sacked last season and is understood to have held talks with Rovers before they hired Danny Schofield in October following Gary McSheffrey’s dismissal.