FAI extends ban on all football from grassroots up until April 19th

Tue, Mar 24 2020

FAI medical director Alan Byrne has advised clubs not to resume any form of collective training during this period. Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

The Football Association of Ireland have extended the prohibition on organised football under its jurisdiction by an additional three weeks to April 19th.

All football in the Republic of Ireland has been suspended since March 12th following the arrival of covid-19 to these shores.

The League of Ireland has already set a conservative return date of June 19th following consultation between the FAI and the National League Executive Council.

And the association confirmed on Tuesday that the suspension of football at all levels, from youths through to grassroots and senior football, will continue until at least April 19th.

FAI medical director Alan Byrne has further advised that all clubs should continue not to engage in any form of collective training during this period.

“The decision to extend a deadline for the return to football has been taken in light of the ever-growing threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and in the best interests of our players, coaches, volunteers, supporters and staff,” read the association’s statement.

“The FAI is in communication with the Department of Health and UEFA on COVID-19 and will continue to follow all government guidelines.

“The Association advises all members, volunteers and stakeholders to respect the HSE guidelines on social distancing during this pandemic.

“FAI Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne has again advised the FAI that in the current exceptional circumstances, clubs should not engage in collective training during the cessation period for all football activity under the FAI’s jurisdiction.”

Full statement:

The Football Association of Ireland today announces an extension to the cessation of all football under its jurisdiction until April 19th inclusive, following directives from Government, the Department of Health and UEFA.

The decision to extend a deadline for the return to football has been taken in light of the ever-growing threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and in the best interests of our players, coaches, volunteers, supporters and staff. This decision will continue to be monitored on an ongoing basis.

The FAI is in communication with the Department of Health and UEFA on COVID-19 and will continue to follow all government guidelines. The Association advises all members, volunteers and stakeholders to respect the HSE guidelines on social distancing during this pandemic.

The Association remains committed to a June return for the SSE Airtricity League. Regular meetings are ongoing with representatives from the National League Executive Committee and the Professional Footballer’s Association of Ireland to help our clubs and players through this difficult time.

FAI Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne has again advised the FAI that in the current exceptional circumstances, clubs should not engage in collective training during the cessation period for all football activity under the FAI’s jurisdiction.

This recommendation is based on the government’s desire to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and Dr Byrne strongly advises against clubs training during this cessation period which runs until April 19th inclusive.