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LSL STATEMENT ON RETURN TO PLAY

Dear Club Member

After receiving a lot of valid questions from all our clubs, we have put together
a Q&A document which should cover all the questions raised and will be sent to
all clubs over the next few days.
We have always adhered to the guidelines laid down by the FAI, HSE and the
Government and your League would never put our clubs, players, and
volunteers in danger by being reckless.


Join COVID Tracker Ireland to fight against COVID-19 here …


https://www.covidtracker.ie/


All updated FAI Protocols are available here …


https://www.fai.ie/domestic/news/fai-safer-return-to-play-protocol


Why are we resuming the League?
After a survey where 69% of clubs indicated a desire to resume, your committee
agreed to the resumption when the guidelines allowed it.
The physical and mental health of the players are foremost in the minds of your
committee and the decision to resume was fair, transparent and protects the
integrity of your League.
I personally can understand the concerns of some of our members as it is a big
undertaking for any club member to take on the responsibility of returning to
play.
We have liaised with several committees over the last two months and the FAI
Medical Director Dr. Alan Byrne, to ensure the safest return to football that we
can achieve.
There will never be a zero risk with this virus until a vaccine is found and no
matter when we go back playing, be it in the next few weeks or months or even
next year, that risk and all the procedures will still be there.
To minimise the risk, great emphasis must be placed on strict adherence to 2
metres social distancing, coughing and sneezing etiquette and good hand
hygiene.
The LSL has always been guided by the FAI medical Director Dr Alan Byrne
who has studied the contact times during games and has proven that contact
time is minimal during games. A close contact for the purpose of disease
transmissibility is considered a contact of 15 minutes or more inside a 2 metres
social distance.
Whilst there will be contact with some players of the same team and/or the
opposition team, the level of contact and the duration of that contact does not

fall within the definition of a close contact for time or distance. This has been
clearly recognized in Football.
As a test case, almost 900 COVID-19 tests were carried out at the 4 European
Qualified, SSE Airtricity League Clubs – all results were negative. This is
supportive of the safety of our game. The latest round of COVID-19 tests in the
Premier League in England also produced zero positive tests.
It is up to all of us to be responsible for our actions on and off the pitch and to
minimise the risk to the best of our ability. If a player or coach feels unwell, he
should attend his GP and not go to his club.
While taking this opportunity to thank the team in the FAI – Ger, Cathal, Dr.
Byrne and all the staff and committees who have worked so hard on the return
to play guidelines – it would be remiss of your League not to acknowledge the
fantastic work and dedication of all the frontline staff in our country who
deserve our gratitude. A special thanks to Dr. Tony Holohan for his calmness
and professionalism in circumstances that no one was aware of.
Stay safe and let’s all use common sense.


David Moran
Chairman

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