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Covid-19 - Football suspended in line with national lockdown

Covid-19 - Football suspended in line with national lockdown

By Ruth Hornby
3 November 2020
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League confirms that all football activity will be suspended from 5 November until 2 December 2020.


It has been confirmed that non-elite football (including the Northern Premier League) will be suspended from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December, in line with the national lockdown which comes in to force in England.

Brig will travel to Morpeth Town tonight as planned and then will not return to action until Saturday 5 December, when Grantham Town will be the visitors to Irongate.

Following the FA announcement, The Northern Premier League issued to following statement via their website:

The Football Association [The FA] has provided an update for ‘non-elite’ football in England following the UK Government’s announcement on new national Covid-19 restrictions that will be in place from Thursday 5 November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December 2020.

As a result of the UK Government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions, and subject to Members of Parliament voting tomorrow [Wednesday 4 November 2020] and the publication of bespoke guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport [DCMS], the impact on ‘non elite’ football in England will include the suspension of the following during this period:

• All fixtures and training for Steps 3-6 of the National League System [NLS];
• All fixtures and training for Tiers 3-7 of the Women’s Football Pyramid [WFP];
• All fixtures and training for the Regional NLS Feeder Leagues;
• All fixtures and training for The Barclays FA WSL Academy League;
• All fixtures and training for FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs;
• All fixtures and training for indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football.

The FA’s aim is to ensure that the 2020/21 season is completed at these levels and will liaise with the relevant leagues in the NLS and WFP and the County Football Associations [CFAs] to provide support and establish appropriate options to do so if required.

The UK Government has confirmed that school sport can continue as an exemption during this period.

In addition, the UK Government has confirmed that all Emirates FA Cup First Round fixtures will go ahead as planned this weekend between Friday 6 and Monday 9 November 2020. The ten ‘non-elite’ clubs that remain in the competition will be able to play their fixtures under ‘elite’ protocols. In line with the new national Covid-19 restrictions, these ‘non-elite’ teams are only permitted to train together until Wednesday 4 November 2020.

Further updates on fixtures and dates for the 2020/21 Vitality Women’s FA Cup, The FA Youth Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase will follow in due course.

Re-starting 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. However, health and wellbeing 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.

The FA remains in dialogue with the DCMS, leagues, competitions and CFAs and will provide further clarification for ‘non-elite’ football in England following the debate in the House of Commons tomorrow.

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