Birmingham’s International Gay Rugby Union Cup postponed until 2023

men playing football

The Union Cup, due to feature over 40 of Europe’s LGBT+ inclusive rugby clubs in 2021, has been pushed back to 2023.

The news was announced on the Union Cup’s Twitter account last night.

International Gay Rugby (IGR) said “With thousands of rugby players from LGBT+ based teams across Europe being due to gather in Birmingham to play rugby and socialise together, the likely COVID-19 restrictions and travel quarantines have unfortunately made that untenable.”

Birmingham’s LGBT+ inclusive club, the Birmingham Bulls, won their bid to host the tournament at The Pavilion, originally to be held on the 30th April to the 2nd May. The IGR have ruled that they can host the Union Cup in 2023 instead.

Alistair Burford, the Union Cup tournament director, said “Postponing the tournament is the right thing to do. While we’re disappointed, we’re now focussed on delivering a truly special tournament in 2023.”

The Union Cup tournament was started in 2005, and is held every two years. The IGR’s world tournament, the Bingham Cup, is held in alternating years with the Union Cup. It too was postponed, having been scheduled for August this year in Ottawa, Canada.

The IGR was founded in 2000, and runs the world’s biggest amateur rugby competitions. It works with World Rugby, the governing body who run the Rugby World Cup, to help eliminate homophobia and transphobia in the international, national and grassroots game.


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