PRACTICAL GUIDANCE FOR PLAYERS, COACHES, OFFICIALS, VOLUNTEERS, CLUBS, LEAGUES, PARENTS/CARERS AND FACILITY PROVIDERS UNDERTAKING OUTDOOR COMPETITIVE GRASSROOTS FOOTBALL ACTIVITY IN ENGLAND.
The FA can confirm that the UK Government approved its plan for the return of outdoor grassroots football late last night, Friday 17 July 2020. As a result, the grassroots football community now has the opportunity to return to football and prepare for the start of the new season.
The FA has been working hard over recent weeks to prepare guidelines for the safe return of grassroots football and, following Government approval, these can now be published.
Football activity can take place with necessary modifications in place to mitigate the transmission risk of COVID-19.
The FA would strongly recommend a phased return to competitive football activity as follows:
Until 31 July – When ready, you can begin competitive training, with the overall group size (inclusive of coaches) being limited to 30 people;
From August – Competitive matches to begin, for example pre-season fixtures, festivals and small sided football competitions;
From September – Grassroots leagues, men’s National League System, Women’s Football Pyramid tiers 3 to 6, and FA Competitions can commence.
Clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents/carers, spectators and football facility providers should read The FA’s full guidelines, which are accessible below, in addition to the latest Government guidance on COVID-19.
A return to competitive football should only happen once clubs and facility providers have completed the necessary risk assessments and comprehensive plans are in place. A summary of key points to consider from The FA’s guidelines are listed for ease below:
Separate guidance has been developed for clubs with teams competing in the men’s National League System (NLS) and the Women’s Football Pyramid tiers 3 to 6. This will support these Clubs on the safe return of paying spectators and also the applicability of the guidance to facilities under Ground Grading conditions, to ensure the safe return of competitive matches.
Please note that at this stage, indoor football and futsal is not permitted. The FA will look to work with indoor facility providers to develop appropriate guidance for indoor formats as soon as possible.