THE Trelawny League's committee has taken the controversial decision to cancel its seven cup football competitions this season.

Following a meeting last week, in which it was highlighted that the five divisions were 400 games behind where they should be at this stage of the season, the 50 outstanding cup matches were scrubbed off.

Life member Gerald Sobey, who can attend league meetings but cannot vote, said: "It's disgraceful. This happens every year, it's nothing new. I did the fixtures for over 50 years and although it can take a lot of working out, to cancel the cups in February is absolutely ridiculous."

The Percy Stephens and Lockhart cups have been shelved, along with the five divisional cups. Some of the competitions had not yet played their first round matches.

Football leagues in the county must play their last match on May 31, meaning that there is still over three months of the season to play.

However, grounds that share facilities with cricket clubs need to have their home games completed before the start of that season, which is on Saturday, April 21.

League chairman Gerald Munden said: "I can understand the clubs' point of view but we are in constant communication with the county FA's referees' appointments officer, who has told us that there will not be enough referees to go around.

"Clubs can use their own referee which receives the full backing of the FA, but many of them are reluctant to do so. It's a question of do you want football, or don't you want it?"

Another available option is for teams who have yet to play each other in the league to have one "double header", which would count for both matches. Mr Munden said that was another potential resolution that is unpopular with clubs.

He added: "We do not take these decisions lightly. In the Premier Division there are two clubs (Wendron United and Lizard Argyle) who have applied to join the Combination League, so in finishing the league season it will help one of them to achieve that.

Wendron United secretary Peter Thorne said: "It's absolutely disgraceful. There's 100 days of football left in this season. I'd like to know where it is written down that says they can change the rules of the league halfway through the season."

Mr Munden said that if two thirds of the 49 member clubs submit a request to league secretary Rob Noventa, a special general meeting will be held to discuss the decision.