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Update for Return to Training and Playing

Published: Thursday, 11 June 2020 12:56
Hope all is well with everyone
 
Over the past few days the LFA have received a lot of queries regarding return to football, criteria, etc and we felt it is better for us to try bring you all up to date rather than dealing with several individual queries
 
The Safe Return to Training document is just the first step on what is a full return to football in the coming months
 
Clubs who fulfill the criteria and send the signed checklist form back to the FAI are okay to return to training with a total of 15 people from Monday June 15th. This training is non-contact and is not a full on training session as we would be normally accustomed to. Basically, it is just a way of getting people back out on to pitches again and allowing players to interact in a safe environment
 
The dates provided by the FAI a few weeks back regarding a return to matches remains the same (August 10th for full training and August 28th for fixtures). As the Government announced that they were removing phase five from their pathway to reopening the country, it was naturally assumed by everyone that this would mean the playing dates from the FAI would also be brought forward. While this may happen and is being discussed in great detail at FAI, HSE and Government level, it has not happened yet so the August 10th/28th time frame remains in place for the moment. The logical assumption is it will change but leagues and clubs cannot announce any league start / restart dates until they have been officially sanctioned
(The reason we are being so clear on this is, we have seen on several club social media pages that football is returning in July and the reason for this email is to clarify that this has not been announced by the FAI)
 
Queries have been raised about the leagues who have decided not to complete the 2019-20 season and when can they start their new season. This too is under discussion and may change but once again until this is changed officially, it remains at October 16th
 
Once all the above becomes clearer, which we believe will be within the next week, the transfer and registration windows, which are currently frozen, will then be addressed and new dates will be sent out to the leagues
 
For leagues who do intend to apply to complete the 2019-20 season, please remember the deadline is noon on June 15th (Monday) but to give us time to check them and send them through, we would appreciate if they could be sent to Peter Doyle in the LFA by 10am at latest
 
The Officers of the LFA met (by Zoom) on Monday evening and it is the intention of the Association to complete our LFA Junior Cup, Junior Shield, Youth Cup and Under Nineteen Cup. The LFA Over Thirty Five Cup and LFA Senior Cup have both been cancelled for the 2020 season
 
Once our 2019-20 competitions are complete, entries will open for the 2020-21 competition and will not start until all leagues have had an opportunity to enter. This will probably mean a late October kick off for our competitions.
 
We hope this email has not created more confusion that it has tried to clarify but the main message is, the dates sent out by the FAI remain in place until officially changed. We will keep you updated as quickly as possible as decisions are made 
 

FAI Statement

Published: Saturday, 06 June 2020 10:31

The Football Association of Ireland welcomes the new measures announced by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin today, as we continue to work on a safer return for all football under the jurisdiction of the FAI, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These guidelines will come into effect on Monday, June 8th, and will have a positive impact on the plans for the SSE Airtricity League, the Women’s National League, adult amateur and underage football and all other affiliates.

  • The FAI welcomes the green light from Government for our four European qualified SSE Airtricity League teams – Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers, Derry City and Bohemian FC – to resume collective training on Monday, June 8th
  • The FAI are working on a return to training protocol for the other SSE Airtricity League clubs and Women’s National League clubs, based on the new Government guidelines for group training for sports teams involving up to 15 people
  • The FAI’s Steering Group are meeting on Saturday morning to draw up protocols for the return to training for adult amateur and underage football under the new Government guidelines and will issue its recommendations as soon as feasible
  • To facilitate this vital planning process, and to support clubs with time to put in place the necessary health and safety protocols, no resumption of training under the new Government guidelines is permitted before Monday, June 15th, other than for the four European qualified clubs from the SSE Airtricity League
  • The FAI’s Steering Group will examine how these new Government guidelines affect all affiliates
  • The FAI welcomes expressions of interest for registration for our INTERSPORT Elverys Summer Soccer Schools at bit.ly/20faisss
  • The FAI’s Steering Group will now review the cessation of football directive which currently runs until July 20th

Welcoming the Government announcements, FAI Interim CEO Gary Owens said: “The new measures announced today by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Ministers Shane Ross and Brendan Griffin, are most welcome and positive for football and for all sport in Ireland.

“We thank the Taoiseach, the Ministers and all the staff at the various Government agencies who have worked so hard to get us to this point. Those agencies have offered us great assistance as we move towards a safer return for football for all our players, coaches, match officials, administrators and club volunteers.

“We still have a long road to travel in the battle against COVID-19 but sport has a huge rule to play in Ireland’s recovery and these new guidelines will help get us back on the playing field as soon as it is safe for all our stakeholders.

“We again thank all those working on the frontline for their dedication in the fight against COVID-19 and for their contribution in getting us to a point where we can plan for live sport again.”

Registration Period Update

Published: Friday, 29 May 2020 12:31
This is a letter received from the FAI regarding the new registration period.

29 May 2020
Dear Affiliate,
In light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on football, the FAI Board, in line with its powers under FAI Rule 21.2, Part B has taken the decision to postpone the commencement of the registration period due to take effect on June 1st 2020 until further notice.
This decision has been made in order to ensure a structured return to football.
I confirm that this will be kept under constant review and we will update you as soon as the registration period can commence.
Yours faithfully
Roy Barrett

O'Neills LFA Junior Shield Final Date

Published: Sunday, 17 May 2020 09:34
With the FAI statement issued recently saying football in the amateur game can resume on Aug 28th and having spoken to both Ashbourne United and Skryne Tara I am delighted to say that they will play the Junior Shield Final on Saturday the 29th of August in United Park ( TBC) Drogheda at 2pm. All government guidelines will be adhered to. 
If football is to begin again in this country it would be a nice one to start off with.
Only players from their 2019/20 registered squad and as per rule they would be eligible 
This is set in stone unless the HSE or the FAI have their dates changed due to the pandemic.

PATHWAY FOR A SAFER RETURN TO FOOTBALL

Published: Friday, 15 May 2020 20:35

PATHWAY FOR A SAFER RETURN TO FOOTBALL

FAI POLICY DOCUMENT MAY 15th 2020

 

INTRODUCTION

The Football Association of Ireland is committed to a return to football for all players, staff, match officials, administrators, volunteers and supporters as soon as it is safe and possible under the guidance of the HSE, the Department of Health, Sport Ireland, NHPET and UEFA.

The FAI remains in communication with all Government agencies regarding protocols around a pathway for a safe return to football in the SSE Airtricity League, Women’s National League, adult amateur and underage football, incorporating all affiliates.

The health and safety of all stakeholders is at the core of all FAI decisions in relation to a safer return to football and remains subject to change on the advice of Government agencies, UEFA and the FAI Medical Team, led by Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne.

Dr Byrne has been appointed by Sport Ireland to the Medical Advisory Group, established to review the various sporting protocols for a return to action. Dr Byrne’s priority as a member of the Medical Advisory Group is to provide a pathway for a return to action for all strands of football that is acceptable to all Government agencies and regarded as safe for all participants. 

“The only certainty around a return to football during this COVID-19 pandemic is the uncertainty,” said Dr Byrne. “As Medical Director of the Football Association of Ireland, I must look at any planned return to football from a medical viewpoint, with the health and safety of everyone concerned to the forefront in any decision making.

“My advice to clubs is not to return to training when we enter Phase One of the Government Roadmap on Monday, May 18th, not to open their grounds and pitches, even to groups of four, and not to consider collective training or playing football until the medical evidence suggests otherwise.

“Decisive actions by our clubs now, will improve the chances of a safer return to football for everyone. We must take small and deliberate steps before we can allow all football to return. My recommendation to the FAI is to begin with a pilot programme on June 8th for the four SSE Airtricity League teams who have qualified for European football. This will allow us to analyse every step of their journey back to football, beginning with a safe return to training.

“The information we will gather from that pilot programme will be invaluable for all players, at all levels of the game, as we look to establish a safer pathway to a return for all football, one that can be approved by all Government agencies and UEFA. We all want football back in our lives but it is not worth risking one life by rushing to get our game back.” 

 

DIRECTIVES TO FACILITATE A SAFER RETURN FOR ALL FOOTBALL

The Football Association of Ireland has made the following decisions:

 

SSE AIRTRICITY LEAGUE

  • The cessation of all football under the jurisdiction of the FAI is extended to July 20th with the exception of SSE Airtricity League clubs and UEFA Women’s Champion’s League representatives, Peamount United
  • All clubs are advised not to facilitate any organized training, including in groups of up to four, under Phase One of the Government’s Roadmap For Reopening Society and Business
  • Four SSE Airtricity League clubs – Dundalk, Shamrock Rovers, Derry City and Bohemians - will be invited to return to training initially followed by a return to playing, in a behind closed doors tournament, as part of a pilot programme for a return to football for everyone
  • Players and staff from the four invited SSE Airtricity League clubs will undergo regular COVID-19 testing from May 26th
  • The four invited SSE Airtricity League clubs can return to collective training on June 8th
  • These four clubs will participate in a four-team tournament at a neutral venue, ahead of their European Club competition games in late July/ early August
  • The four-team tournament will provide all stakeholders with an opportunity to learn in the current environment from these games, thus providing a safer template for SSE Airtricity League, International games and all football going forward
  • All other SSE Airtricity League squads can return to collective training on June 29th under Phase Three of the Government’s Roadmap For Reopening Society and Business, with players and staff undergoing regular COVID-19 testing
  • The FAI Medical Team will provide a detailed and transparent analysis of the testing results to stakeholders, Government agencies and UEFA on an ongoing basis

 

WOMEN’S NATIONAL LEAGUE, ADULT AMATEUR, UNDERAGE AND ALL OTHER AFFILIATED FOOTBALL

                     All clubs are advised not to facilitate any organized training, including in groups of up to four, under Phase One of the Government’s Roadmap For Reopening Society and Business

                     The FAI Steering Group will monitor the pilot programme for the four invited SSE Airtricity League clubs, to be launched on June 8th, and will use all information gathered in the preparation of a protocol document for a return for all adult amateur and underage football

                     The cessation of all football activities under the jurisdiction of the FAI is extended to July 20th for all affiliates, with the exception of SSE Airtricity League clubs and UEFA Women’s Champions League representatives, Peamount United. A decision on Peamount United’s return to training will be made once dates are known for the UEFA Women’s Champions League

                     Under Phase Four of the Government’s Roadmap For Reopening Society and Business, all adult amateur and underage clubs can begin their return to training programmes from July 20th, subject to FAI protocols to be agreed with Government agencies

                     Under Phase Five of the Government’s Roadmap For Reopening Society and Business, all adult amateur and underage clubs can return to full collective training from August 10th

                     All adult amateur and underage clubs can return to playing from August 28th

                     A pilot tournament for the Women’s National League, including Peamount United, will be launched once dates are known for the UEFA Women’s Champions League

                     A pilot programme for adult amateur and underage football will be launched on August 14th and run until August 28th

                     Regional, provincial and national competitions in season 2019/20 can return from August 28th with FAI approval

                     Winter Leagues wishing to complete their 2019/20 season will be given the option of applying to the FAI, via their affiliates, for an extension to their season until October 11th

                     Applications from Winter Leagues looking to complete the 2019/20 season must be made to the FAI by June 15th with details to be forwarded to affiliates from the Steering Group by May 22nd

                     Winter Leagues not wishing to complete their 2019/20 season can start their new 2020/21 season on October 16th

                     2020 Summer Leagues can return on August 28th and will be provided with support to create a shortened schedule to run up to December 13th

                     All decisions around a return to collective training and playing for all adult amateur and underage football, will be based on the health and safety of all players, coaches, match officials, administrators and club volunteers

                     All decisions will be subject to change on the advice of Government agencies, UEFA and the FAI Medical Team, led by Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne

  
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