The children’s soccer team is about to disappear from a big game when easyJet gets them off the plane

The Juventus Academy Devon players were set to fly to Italy to play against other youth sides from around the world, only for easyJet to snap them out of the second leg

Sam Driscoll with two of his fellow coaches
Sam Driscoll (left) with two of his fellow coaches

Dozens of young footballers are missing out on the biggest tournament of their lives after easyJet ditched them from their flight.

Manager Sam Driscoll was looking forward to flying to Italy with his Juventus Academy Devon players in mid-June.

The 87-strong group was set to meet other promising young footballers aged 11-14 from around the world in the opening match of a youth tournament organized by the superclub.

Sam’s excitement turned to despair when an accompanying parent accidentally discovered there was a problem with their flight.

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Sam has been planning the trip to Italy for months


Sam Driscoll)

Without informing the group, easyJet had taken the team out of service on the evening of June 18, splitting them between two morning flights scheduled before the team’s games.

Before the flight was eventually cancelled, tickets for the original flight were available for three times what Sam and the kids had paid.

After many frantic and frustrating emails and phone calls, the 25-year-old was told they could fly the next day instead, meaning the children would miss school and their parents would have to spend a night in a hotel.

Sam is at a loss as to what to do, considering the original tickets were £100 return when purchased in February, while suitable alternative flights are now £300 or more.

“It’s absolutely crazy,” Sam, who also works as a special education teacher, told The Mirror.

“It’s an incredible opportunity. It’s a World Cup. The kids are very excited. Now I have to tell them that this is all happening.

“I am responsible for all the children on the trip. One flight leaves at 7:20am, the other at 11:50am. There are four hours between them.

Now the coach is unsure if they can play


Sam Driscoll)

“They expect me to have 11-year-olds waiting for me at Gatwick Airport.

“If we came back on Sunday, the children would miss school on Monday because we would come home very late. We would be back by 6am on Monday morning.

“I tried calling but you can only speak to bookings and not complaints. There is no way to complain.

“We may have to cancel the trip. We will no longer be flying with easyJet in the future.”

An easyJet spokesman said: “We are sorry that this group’s flight from Milan to Gatwick on 18 June has been cancelled.

“Our account team is currently discussing their options with them, including looking at flights on other airlines in order to fly them in time for the tournament.

The queues at Gatwick Airport on Friday morning



“We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused.”

EasyJet customers have faced frustration before and back from trips in recent weeks.

Yesterday, an IT glitch caused the low-cost airline to cancel hundreds of flights, with more than a dozen others grounded this morning.

Long queues formed at Gatwick Airport as passengers waited up to two hours to check in with easyJet.

To read more about the chaos, click here.

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