Muratti Vase moved to 18 May after Guernsey fixture congestion

Jersey against Guernsey 2012

The date of the annual Muratti Vase final has been put back due to Guernsey FC's ongoing fixture problems.

Guernsey will play either Jersey or Alderney on Saturday 18 May at Footes Lane rather than Sunday 5 May.

It is the first time the game's date has been put back for such a reason.

The Green Lions, who play in England's Combined Counties League, face 24 matches in April and May having had most of their games called off since December because of bad weather.

Jersey boss Craig Culkin had previously if it meant keeping the integrity of the fixture.

There were concerns that Guernsey could be forced to field a weakened side if their best players were tied up with league action.

"The poor weather over the past couple of months has caused serious postponements of fixtures in Guernsey and Jersey and there is a significant backlog of games in both Islands," said Jersey FA president Phil Austin.

"We feel it is imperative to maintain the integrity and status of the Muratti and we were therefore happy to consider Guernsey's request to push the date back a couple of weeks, and so enable the finalists to put out their strongest teams."

The date of the women's match is unaffected and will still go ahead on Saturday 4 May.

"The Muratti final is historically the final game of the Channel Islands domestic football programme and the Guernsey Football Association board would prefer that this remain the case," said Guernsey FA chairman Chris Schofield.

"The adverse weather has caused a fixture backlog which will require the majority of the Guernsey Muratti squad to be playing possibly three matches a week up to and beyond 5 May.

'Both the Guernsey and Jersey representative coaches have publicly expressed the importance of playing against the strongest available opposition and the view that the competition will be devalued if contested by under-strength teams is difficult to argue against."