Football Association Announces Non-elite football to be Suspended During the Lockdown in England.
The FA said matches and training in steps three to six of the men’s national league system (NLS) and tiers three to seven of the women’s football pyramid would be suspended during the upcoming lockdown period, which is being imposed by the Government amid a second wave of coronavirus infections nationwide.
The suspension also covers matches and training in regional NLS feeder leagues, the Women’s Super League academy league, FA girls regional talent clubs and indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football.
“Restarting football at these levels has taken substantial determination and commitment from stakeholders across the game and The FA would like to thank everyone for their vital contributions,” a statement from the governing body read.
“However, health and well-being remain the priority, so it is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers and facility providers adhere to the UK Government’s new national COVID-19 restrictions during this period.”
This comes after confirmation that the FA Cup first round will go ahead this week after 10 lower-league clubs were granted elite status to play in lockdown. The Government’s decision to impose a month of tighter Covid restrictions from Thursday had thrown the competition into doubt because only the Premier League, EFL and National League are allowed to continue playing.
Non-elite teams below that level cannot compete, which placed a question mark over the participation of first-round qualifiers Skelmersdale, South Shields, Marine, Bishop’s Stortford, Banbury United, Canvey Island, FC United of Manchester, Cray Valley Paper Mills, Maldon & Tiptree and Yeading United.
However, the FA confirmed on Monday that exemptions have been granted following discussions with the Government.
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