One Direction forces postponement of hockey game; team calls it ‘unacceptable’

One Direction forced the cancellation of a game between the Belfast Giants and Sheffield Steelers.
Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

It looks like a Northern Ireland hockey team isn’t the biggest One Direction fans. The boyband was scheduled to perform one of three shows at SSE Arena in Belfast on Tuesday, but it was were forced to cancel the show that night after one of the members of the band, Liam Payne, fell suddenly ill shortly before the performance. 

The band rescheduled Tuesday’s show for Friday night, but the Belfast Giants of the Elite Ice Hockey League had a game scheduled at the arena that night against the Sheffield Steelers. The arena’s management canceled the hockey game in order to accommodate One Direction, and Steelers owner Tony Smith was none too happy about it. 

"This is unacceptable and not the end of the matter," Smith said in a statement released by the Steelers.

Steelers Operations Director Shaun Smith also voiced his displeasure with the cancellation.

"We appreciate as well as anyone when things out of your control can sometimes happen that cause games to be cancelled," Smith said in the statement. "We believe this is a commercial decision taken by the arena in Belfast that will certainly inconvenience, disrupt and hurt financially both the club and our supporters."

A statement earlier this week from One Direction’s PR team thanked the hockey teams for their cooperation, saying, "We would like to extend our thanks to the Belfast Giants & Sheffield Steelers Ice Hockey Teams and fans for moving their game on Friday."

Friday’s hockey game has yet to be rescheduled.

(h/t Sheffield Steelers, Simon Jones PR)

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