Grassroots football in Flintshire could get restart green light next week
Grassroots football clubs in Flintshire look set to get the green light to resume some sort of activity later this month.
The Football Association of Wales (FAW) suspended all domestic football at all level in Wales on March 13 following the Covid-19 outbreak.
Four months on, players and coaches could be about to hear some positive news from the Welsh government.
First minister Mark Drakeford said on Friday he was “optimistic” he’ll be able to make a positive announcement next week on the resumption of “organised team sports.”
In England, where the easing of lockdown restrictions has moved at a faster pace, up to six people from different households can meet outdoors, in Wales it currently remains at two.
That relaxing of rules over the border has allowed for a phased return of outdoor sport, even if it’s only to resume ‘socially distanced’ training in many cases.
The English FA published guidance in early June for the restart of football activity for junior and adult teams.
Grassroots clubs in England have been allowed run training and coaching sessions for groups of up to six players, providing risk assessments have been completed and they are covered by insurance. Competitive matches are still not allowed at amateur level.
Welsh Ministers are required to review coronavirus restrictions every 21 days as part of the lockdown legislation introduction at the start of the pandemic.
An announcement on the fifth review will take place next Friday, July 10.
During an ‘Ask the First Minister’ session yesterday, Mark Drakeford responded to a number of questions submitted by the public asking when football, cricket, and rugby can start again.
The first minister, who is an avid cricket fan said: “What we hope to be able to do is announce on Friday of next week the reopening of organised team sports outdoors, where social distancing can still be maintained.”
“Cricket, we’re very optimistic we might be able to do something there and football when it is organised.
Rugby is by its nature a contact sport, so it’s not likely that we will be able to see people in rugby scrums in the next few weeks.”
Mr Drakeford did, however, say “seven a side rugby, which could be organised in a different way, might be a different matter.”
The first minister said: “If we are able to allow games to happen outdoors, it will be because they are organised and because we have worked with a governing body to put rules in place that allow that to be done safely.”
“I’m optimistic we may well be able to say something about that at the end of the next three week period, which is only a week away.” The first minister said.
The FAW trust issued an update earlier this week, it said, “we have continued to work with Welsh Government and Sport Wales to develop an overall approach for the return of football in Wales.
Club training is still prohibited under the current suspension of all domestic football.”
“We will be hosting a webinar on Monday 13th July to share more information on protocols, safety measures and the impact of Welsh Government’s latest announcement on the return of football activity.” The FAW added.
As part of the last lockdown review in June, the Welsh government allowed the reopening of some outdoor sports facilities including tennis courts, bowling greens, golf driving ranges and cricket nets.
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com