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Adult season can commence from June 7 but no extensions for 2020/2021 season – FAI

Hi All,

Firstly, thank you for your effort and assistance recently in discussing and planning our Return to Play options. The engagement you have had with our Leagues has been really helpful and as we finally see competitions return, this collaborative approach will only help us to grow and improve the game.

As we all know from our experience with the COVID-19 pandemic, decisions regarding seasons and competitions are not easy to take and when doing so, we must consider the national picture and what is best to allow for the most appropriate return for all.

In that regard, I can confirm the following:

In line with Regulation 18.2, the Board has approved that 2021/22 Youth and Adult Amateur winter seasons may commence early, from June 7th 2021.

No extensions to 2020/21 seasons will be granted to Leagues.

This allows us to facilitate a return to play for all our players at the earliest possible opportunity. Whilst the decision to not allow season extensions will be disappointing for some, we are conscious that the amount of league fixtures played in the 2020/2021 seasons has been extremely limited and we are keen to avoid unnecessary disruption to our 2021/2022 seasons.

In facilitating an early start to our Youth and Adult Amateur winter season, and for those of you who will look to play pre-season tournaments, we strongly recommend the following:

Leagues allow clubs to play friendly matches from June 7 for at least a 2-3-week period to allow players to regain fitness and clubs to become familiar with Return to Play Protocols.

Once clubs have had an opportunity to play friendly fixtures, leagues facilitate one competitive fixture per week initially, again to allow players and match officials to regain fitness in a steady fashion. This can be reviewed on an ongoing basis with your clubs and match officials.

Just to be clear on the rationale behind our approach, the following is noted:

  • The amount of league matches played in the 2020/21 seasons was extremely limited.
  • When player registration, season completion plans and all other factors are considered, we need to avoid a scenario whereby our 2021/22 seasons are unnecessarily disrupted as a consequence of season extensions.

I will talk through our approach and rationale at tonight’s webinar.

Please forward this email to your leagues and pass on my thanks to them for their ongoing patience and efforts.

Best regards,

Ger

Ger McDermott
Head of Grassroots FAI

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