Friday 13 March
Information shared on Cumberland FA Social Media: Friday 13 March 2020
FA Spokesperson: “The FA is fully aware that there are questions about whether grassroots football in England should be played because of the Covid-19 virus."
“Consistent with Government advice, The FA is recommending that grassroots football is able to continue as usual for now, with each league or centre making its own individual decision based on its local situation and the availability of players and officials. However, we would fully respect and support any leagues, centres or teams that wish to postpone fixtures in light of the Covid-19 virus.
The decision to postpone all professional football in England has been taken with the integrity of the competitions in mind, considering the availability of players, staff and facilities.
We will continue to monitor all Government advice and keep the situation under constant review, with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all. Further updates will follow as needed."
You may now be aware as to the agreed action that Cumberland FA and the 3 youth leagues from across the county have taken in respect of suspending all fixtures for 7 days. This decision was made following a number of concerns raised around the fact that a young female player, who attends Trinity School, has tested positive for the Coronavirus.
Further to the suspension the youth leagues have agreed that any club or team that is effected by the virus (i.e. has a player, coach, parent or significant other linked to the team have to go into self-isolation) can request a 7 day period of grace from the league on health grounds, without fear of fines or further repercussions.
Having spoken with all 3 leagues we believed this to be a balanced and proportional response to the unique circumstances facing the grassroots game at youth level in the County.
However when it comes to the picture Nationally, at this stage, the suggestion from Government is that there is no rationale to close or cancel sporting events, but this may, change as the situation evolves.
Correspondence was sent to all Adult league with regards to the above and FA advice for leagues to make their own decisions with regards to what, if any, action leagues wished to take.
Again The CFA has spoken with all respective leagues in order to support them with their decisions and these decision will be communicated directly via the leagues.
With regards to teams, coaching groups etc. who fall outside of leagues then ultimately the decision as to what football activity takes place would be down to respective club committees and should be based on National Government and Public Health England guidance, as well as risk assessing local intelligence (with regards to any cases or potential contact with confirmed cases) and considering feedback from all those involved, to establish their thoughts as to whether they have any concerns, underlying medical conditions and ultimately their wishes with regards to future activity.
All Leagues and their respective Clubs are asked to keep up to date with and follow Government and Public Health England Guidance including:
• Promoting best practice for hygiene, ensuring cleaning is effective and soaps are provided (and sanitiser where possible) at clubs sites and at matches/training etc.
• Anyone with a “new, continuous” or persistent cough or high temperature (above 37.8 C) to self-isolate for seven days
• Clubs are advised that if any spectator or club member presents to a club member of staff with possible flu-like symptoms they should be encouraged to leave, return home and go online to www.111.nhs.uk for further advice (do not go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital).
• Clubs and teams who are playing are also asked to ensure that they follow their designated League or The CFAs policy to remove or amend (fist bumps/elbow bumps) the procedural pre/post-match handshake.
• NHS advice and guidance can be found HERE
This situation is obviously an everchanging environment and therefore as a County FA we will continue to monitor, react and share any guidance we receive from the government, health authorities and National FA with regards to undoubted future actions around the grassroots game.
It is important to keep in mind that none of us are medical experts and, like yourselves, we are dealing with something which is unprecedented. Therefore all you and we can do, is utilise expert guidance and guidelines, to make decisions that we believe to be in the best interests of grassroots football within our clubs and the county.