Cymru North granted elite status – season start date to follow next week

Cymru North clubs Llangefni Town (blue) and Gresford Athletic will soon be back in competitive action

The tier 2 Cymru North League has been given the go-ahead to start playing competitively.

Tier 3 could be starting in January but there is no decision yet on when men’s and women’s tiers below can begin their seasons proper.

The Football Association of Wales has today received confirmation that the JD Cymru North and JD Cymru South has been granted ‘elite status’ by Sport Wales, meaning the 2020/21 season is permitted to start for these leagues.

The FAW has been working alongside Welsh Government and Sport Wales to produce a return to play plan for the leagues.

The National Sports Group has also requested the FAW conducts a review of the Men’s Tier 2 implementation for discussion and assessment, before any formal decision is taken on the return of men’s Tier 3 football in January.

Following confirmation of the news, the FAW National Leagues Board will convene next week to determine an approved format and start date for the 2020/21 season in the JD Cymru North and JD Cymru South.

The leagues will follow the approved FAW Tier 2 Return to Play Regulations in order to safely manage the return of football.

All 32 clubs have recently undergone site visits with FAW representatives to ensure that the stadiums are compliant with social distancing measures.

As part of the Return to Play Regulations, all players, technical staff, club officials, match officials and administrators who will require access to the red zone of the stadium, will have to undergo daily medical assessments and a temperature test upon arrival.

“The FAW welcomes the cooperation of all 32 clubs and the new measures in place have helped to ensure that football at Tier 2 level will be able to start again in the near future,” said the association in a statement.

“The Association is committed to doing all it can to support the potential return of Tier 3 men’s, which is eligible to be given ‘elite status’ by Sport Wales.

The Association will also continue its discussions with Welsh Government to find a way forward for Tier 4 Men’s & Tier 2 Women’s and below.

“The FAW is fully aware of the frustration felt throughout the Welsh football family for those leagues that are currently unable to return, but it is important to recognise that the Association is not responsible for the national COVID-19 policies and guidelines.”

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