18 Jul FA outlines plans for ‘phased return’ of grassroots football in England | UK News
The Football Association has announced plans for a “phased return” of grassroots football in England – with competitive matches to resume next month.
Competitive outdoor training can begin at once, but is limited to groups of 30, including coaches. Indoor football is still not permitted.
Matches including “pre-season fixtures, festivals and small-sided football competitions” can get going from the start of August.
From September, grassroots leagues, the men’s national league system, women’s football pyramid tiers three to six, and FA competitions can start.
But a resumption can only happen after clubs and facilities have “completed the necessary risk assessments and comprehensive plans are in place”, the FA added.
Those involved must social distance before and afterwards, and during any breaks. They must wash their hands at those times too.
Everyone should make sure they have no COVID-19 symptoms before turning up.
The FA said “ball handling should be kept to a minimum with most contact via a boot and the ball disinfected in breaks of play”.
Goal celebrations should be avoided, and goalkeepers are advised to regularly disinfect their gloves.
It is also suggested that players arrive in their kit, ready to play, and shower at home.
They should walk or cycle if possible, avoiding public transport, although people from the same household or support bubble can travel in the same vehicle.
Clubs are being asked to keep a record of those attending a match or training session, so that the data can be passed to NHS Test and Trace if someone tests positive.
James Kendall, director of football development at the FA, said: “The past few months have been some of the most challenging times not just for football, but across society, and today’s news will be welcomed by the grassroots football community all over the country.”
The FA said the guidance had been agreed with the Culture Department.