FAW term ‘recreational’ is so derogatory to lower league football in Wales

Llysfaen and Bangor 1876 went hell for leather in March’s Junior Cup tie at the Banana Field. It was certainly not a ‘recreational’ encounter. Picture: Matt Johnson

The FAW’s labelling of lower league football in Wales as ‘recreational’ is downright insulting in my book.

The term was used yesterday when tiers 5 and 6 were discussed as part of the decision to end the season early due to Covid-19.

The FAW Community Game Board (sounds like a snakes and ladders appreciation society) decided that once a solution had been confirmed for Tiers 1-4 on how to conclude the 2019/20 season, “Recreational Football” in the country would follow suit.  

I was told this tag has been used for some time, well no matter how long it has been described in such a derogatory way, it is surely wrong.

Leagues like the Gwynedd, Vale of Clwyd and Conwy, North East Wales and Anglesey are not “recreational”.

Lower leagues, yes, lower tiers, indeed, but the term ‘recreational’ suggests something akin to a parks kickabout or a game of frisbee.

Anyone who witnessed the blood and thunder NWCFA Junior Cup tie between tier 6 and 5 clubs Llysfaen and Bangor 1876 in March would certainly have not described that as ‘recreational’.

The inapt word sums up the FAW’s often dismissive attitude to lower league football.

As part of the pyramid restructuring planned for next season, the FAW has washed their hands of the lower leagues and left them in the hands of area associations.

Not that area associations are not capable of co-ordinating these leagues, but without the back-up of the FAW their task could be made much the harder.

Recreational? To you in Cardiff, maybe. Deadly serious to us.

Media gets raw deal over curtailment announcement

Meanwhile, the media which works hard to promote the domestic game in Wales were wrongly denied equal treatment over the release of yesterday’s news on the early completion of the 2019-20 football season.

However, BBC Wales Sport, whose coverage of Welsh leagues is minimal, were gifted first dabs on the story via a reported news leak.

That left several media outlets less than happy at being down the pecking order of importance, not receiving the FAW’s official press release until an hour or so later than the Beeb.

A few took to social media to voice their disappointment. Not a good PR exercise for the FAW.

Don’t forget, we are your bread and butter. Without us, where would you get your publicity from? The BBC only jump on board when there’s a bit of controversy in the air.

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