FAI launches new protocol as return to action moves closer

The Football Association of Ireland has today launched a Safer Return to Play Protocol for all clubs as a cornerstone of the move towards the return of games.

This will see adult amateur, underage national leagues and underage football permitted to return to full-contact training - including training games between teams from the same club - from next Monday, June 29.

Clubs are authorised to make a full return to playing friendly games from July 11 and competitive matches from July 18.

The FAI has also issued a second edition of the Safer Return to Training Protocol that will apply to all clubs under its jurisdiction from June 29.

Clubs and teams in the SSE Airtricity League and Women’s National League clubs will receive a separate Protocol. Match Officials are included in the Safer Return to Play Protocol and, in addition, will receive their own Protocol guidelines.

The FAI’s Steering Group, in consultation with Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne, has published these Protocols and they are available at www.fai.ie

The Safer Return to Play Protocol is based on the latest Government guidelines and advice from the Department of Health and HSE as lockdown measures around Covid-19 ease. The FAI remains committed to the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business and any return dates announced today are subject to change in line with Government guidelines.

The decision to move from cessation to a return to competitive football from July 18 applies to adult amateur and underage football under the jurisdiction of the FAI and will apply to all players, coaches, match officials, club officials, volunteers, parents and guardians.

Under the new Safer Return to Play Protocol, the FAI has approved the following measures:

*Adult amateur and underage football can return to full contact training, including training games between teams from the same club, from June 29.

*Adult amateur and underage football can return to playing friendly games from July 11, and to playing competitive matches from July 18.

*All adult amateur and underage leagues operating a winter season, who have had applications to extend their 2019-2020 season approved, can resume fixtures from July 18 and must have all competitions completed by September 14.

*All other adult amateur and underage leagues operating a winter season can commence their 2020/21 season from July 18.

*All adult amateur and underage leagues operating a summer season can resume/commence from July 18 and must have all competitions completed by November 30.

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