Update 30 December 2020
Further to the Government’s announcement today and Cumbria moving into Tier 4 restrictions. The below is an overview of the main guidance for what this means to Grassroots football within Cumberland from 12:01 on Thursday 31st December 2020.
Training and Matches (Indoor, Outdoor and including friendlies) for adult football and its participants across ‘non-elite’ football is not permitted.
Non elite football applies to:
~ Steps 3-6 of the Male National League System (NLS)
~ Tiers 3 to 7 of the Women’s Football Pyramid
~ Regional NLS feeder leagues (previously Step 7)
~ All other adult grassroots football within Cumberland (including the Cumberland County League, Carlisle/Egremont & Workington Sunday Leagues, Westmorland Football League)
• Travel between (both in and out) of Tier 4 areas is not permitted for ‘non-elite’ players and therefore teams playing within leagues outside of the County will also not be allowed to play
Under 18 Football
Organised outdoor sport for Under-18s will be allowed for both training and matches (i.e. Clubs within Carlisle Glass Longhorn, Cumberland FA U16 Girls, Penrith & District and West Cumbria Youth Leagues) can restart as planned.
• Indoor training and matches for organised sport for Under 18s is not permitted.
• Players cannot move in or out of Tier 4 to train or play (as far as we know this will now include travel between England and Scotland). However, players, coaches, parent/carer and or officials are able to travel around Cumbria.
Disability Football is permitted and follows the same restrictions as Youth Football
Elite sportspeople (and their coaches, or parents/guardians if they are Under 18 and if necessary) are able to compete, train and potentially travel. This may include Carlisle United Centre of Excellence (however this is managed by the Football League and not The FA) but the travel aspect would not be allowed for other private ‘academies’ (who would need to remain within Cumbria).
Grassroots football is still currently being permitted, despite wider restrictions, because of the benefits of sport and physical activity for people’s physical and mental wellbeing.
If people act irresponsibly when participating in grassroots football (including off the pitch, and when socialising before and after activity) they jeopardise public health and undermine the case for safe sport to take place.
It is therefore exceptionally important that we all follow both UK Government and FA guidance if we wish to keep the “Game On”.
The Football Association and County FA’s are responsible for ensuring that clubs and leagues are running their activities safely. In order to protect and keep the “Game on”, we will have to take action to address any issues, including putting in place additional measures or suspending players / teams / leagues / clubs which do not adhere to guidance.
It is clear that if there are serious or consistent concerns with non-compliance of COVID guidelines at grassroots football which fail to be addressed, then the government (National or local) may revoke the ability for grassroots football to take place.
The above are all subject to any further updates from the government, The FA and/or any local restrictions from Cumbria County Council or Local Authorities. We will update you of any further updates in due course.
Everyone’s health, well-being and safety are priorities for all in these difficult times. Therefore, if clubs have any questions or concerns regarding the return to football then they should contact their respective leagues and ourselves to discuss further.
In the meantime, we wish you all a Happy and Safe New Year.