FAI working towards a new plan for safely returning to training and games

FAI working towards a new plan for safely returning to training and games

Sean Murray of Dundalk in action against Lee Devitt of Cobh Ramblers during the Extra.ie FAI Cup match at St Colman's Park in Cobh last season. Picture: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

THE FAI are working on a plan for the safe return to competitive sport in early 2021, but have contacted all their affiliates confirming soccer in Ireland is on hold until at least January 31.

Aside from individual training and senior League of Ireland club activity, no other games or training are permitted after the move from the government to Level 5 restrictions to curb the escalating Covid-19 numbers.

A statement explained: "Following discussions with Sport Ireland, the FAI has today written to all affiliates regarding the impact on football of the latest Government guidelines and the move to Level 5 lockdown until January 31 at the earliest.

"The FAI is currently finalising a submission to Sport Ireland as they formulate a plan to facilitate a return for all competitive sport as early as possible in the New Year. The FAI is committed to getting all levels of the game back on the pitch as soon as we can but we are also respectful of the need for these new Government Guidelines in the wake of the alarming rise in Covid-19 numbers.

"We again commend all our clubs for their adherence to Government guidelines to date and we have reconfirmed to Sport Ireland our ongoing commitment to the advice issued by all Government agencies."

LATEST LEVEL 5 GUIDELINES FOR FOOTBALL 

All football activity is suspended until January 31 with immediate effect - with the exception of senior SSE Airtricity League and senior Women’s National League teams who are exempt. 

In addition to this, please note the following:

The new Government Level 5 Guidelines do not allow for any collective team training for any team other than senior SSE Airtricity League or Women’s National League teams 

The new Government Level 5 Guidelines do not allow for any adult amateur, Futsal and underage football activity including the underage National Leagues and all schoolboy and schoolgirl football.

The new Government Level 5 Guidelines do not allow for any trials or assessments until further notice – with the exception of senior SSE Airtricity League and senior Women’s National League teams who are exempt subject to League guidelines.

The new Government Level 5 Guidelines allow for individual training only.

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