Already slow-moving plans to bring back competitive football below tier 1 in Wales are about to grind to a halt.
The FAW has confirmed the 17-day national lockdown beginning this Friday will mean further frustration for tiers 2-5 of the Welsh pyramid, where matches are yet to start this season due to Covid-19.
Yesterday, the Welsh Government announced a “firebreak” national lockdown from 6 pm on Friday, 23 October until Monday, 9 November.
The Welsh Government has released a detailed set of frequently asked questions about the latest lockdown and the restrictions that will be imposed during the 17-day period.
As a result, football in Wales will be impacted in the following ways:
a) All activity detailed in the FAWs Return to Play Protocols will be suspended during this period. Inter-club friendlies had started this week, but they will now have to stop for over a fortnight at least.
b) Clubs with a sufficient amount of professional players, coaches and operational staff in the JD Cymru Premier – as defined by the Welsh Government guidelines – will have their fixtures re-arranged to allow them to continue playing against each other. TV schedules will be reset.
c) Due to the suspension of the ‘elite programme’, the JD Cymru Premier will postpone all matches involving non-professional clubs during this period. Training during this time is also not permitted.
d) All Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League matches during this period will be postponed. Training during this time is also not permitted.
The FAW urges everyone to follow the Welsh Government guidelines during the firebreak lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The association is currently seeking clarification from the Welsh Government on the level of restrictions that will be in place following the end of this lockdown period, in order to ascertain what football activity can resume from 9 November.
Clubs in Welsh tiers 2-5 have not kicked a competitive ball since the early ending to the 2019-20 season in early March due to the coronavirus pandemic.