Football Association allows grassroots seasons to continue until the end of June
Grassroots football has been given the green light to continue until the end of June.
Following the Government’s release of their roadmap this week that revealed outdoor sports will return from March 29, the Football Association’s ruling means many sides across the area will be able to play their seasons to a finish if teams and leagues want to do so.
The Peterborough League has already canvassed clubs for their opinion on the way forward while the Boston and District League were due to meet last night (Wednesday) to discuss the extension to their campaign.
The S-Tech Cambridgeshire Women’s League – which features ladies teams from Pinchbeck United and Deeping United – are planning to continue their campaign with an April restart date after a survey of clubs.
More than 80 per cent of clubs responded by indicating that they wanted the season to be extended and would be able to host matches.
However, the extension to the season does not apply to the National League System (NLS) steps three to six, which includes the Northern Premier League and the United Counties League.
The Peterborough League Premier Division – which is classed as a regional NLS feeder league – also does not come under the extension.
A statement from the FA said: “We welcome the UK Government’s update regarding the Covid-19 roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions which means we can look forward to the safe return of grassroots football from March 29 for both adults and children.
“With this new clarity around timings, we will continue to work with Government on plans for a safe return for grassroots football across England and will communicate updated guidance as soon as we can.
“We can also confirm that the 2020-21 grassroots season has been extended until the end of June in order to provide additional flexibility and time for leagues to complete their fixtures this season if they wish to do so.
“The extension does not apply to the National League System (NLS) Steps 3-6, Regional NLS Feeder Leagues and the Women’s Football Pyramid from Tier 3 and below, including County Leagues at Tier 7, as the process to determine the preferred route forward for these competitions is currently ongoing. We will provide a further update on this in due course.”
The Government announcement also means junior and youth football teams can resume from March 29 while rugby clubs across the area will also be able to open their doors again.
A statement from the Rugby Football Union said: “The RFU welcomes the announcement by the Prime Minister that grassroots team sports including community rugby can return from March 29.
“This is good news for the game and for players, coaches and volunteers across the country who will once again be able to enjoy the physical and mental health benefits of being involved in team sport.
“We will work with DCMS on the Covid protocols for the community game, including the format of rugby that will be permitted in return to play.”