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Football petition target is reached – let’s hope we now get Senedd debate

A campaign pressing for the return of all competitive football in Wales has passed its target of 5,000 supporters.

Mark Morgans launched a petition urging the Welsh Government to raise the number of people allowed in outdoor spaces so football can restart for all teams in Wales.

Petitions with more than 5,000 signatures will be considered for a debate in the Senedd. By 10 pm last night, that figure had been reached and passed on Mr Morgans’ petition.

The news came on the day the FAW announced its Safer Return to Play Protocols for Phase 3 will be reinstated from Monday, 9 November.

This will result in the resumption of inter-club friendly matches for senior, youth, junior and small-sided football and other formats.But we are still nowhere nearer a comeback for competitive football.

Due to COVID-19, the current rules / legislation only allows 30 people to be in an outdoor space.

With football teams needing 11 versus 11 plus officials and staff, it’s pretty impossible to run competitive adult leagues until this number is lifted.

The strong belief among football supporters in Wales is that games can be run safely and effectively if the number is increased to 30 people not including the players and officials on the field.

While football is allowed under restrictions in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, there are currently no leagues operating in Wales, apart from games in the top flight Cymru Premier where a professional standard environment is available.

Before the ‘firebreak’ lockdown, the tier 1 Cymru Premier was fully active as its players are considered as having ‘elite athlete status’, but all matches took place behind closed doors.

That situation is expected to remain when the CPL recommences in full on the weekend of November 13-14.

Following the Welsh Government announcement on Monday, detailing the guidelines that will be in place following the end of the “firebreak” lockdown, the FAW’s Safer Return to Play Protocols for Phase 3 will be reinstated from Monday, 9 November.

The protocol remains subject to the latest Public Health Wales and Welsh Government policy and guidelines related to COVID-19.

Due to the changing nature of the guidance, clubs should keep up to date with COVID-19 updates issued by Welsh Government, which are available to read on the FAW website.

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