All leading men’s and women’s football leagues in Wales are to lose ‘elite’ status following the latest effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The JD Cymru Premier, Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League, JD Cymru North and JD Cymru South have all been told they cannot play matches until further notice, the only possible exception being fully professional clubs.
The decision applies to all non-fully professional clubs.
The JD Cymru Leagues will make a separate announcement as to whether any fixtures involving fully professional clubs can take place during this period.
This latest announcement effectively means an end to Cymru Premier fixtures for now and halts the start of the 2020/21 JD Cymru North and South seasons – which were due to begin on January 15-16 – until further notice.
A statement from the Football Association of Wales this evening said: “Following the announcement on 19 December from the First Minister, placing Wales into Alert Level 4 of the Welsh Government Control Plan in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport Wales has communicated to the FAW a decision of the National Sport Group (NSG) in relation to the elite status designation provided to the top levels of football in Wales.
“The decision of the NSG is to rescind the elite status designation provided to the following leagues:
• JD Cymru Premier
• Orchard Welsh Premier Women’s League
• JD Cymru North
• JD Cymru South
“As a result, all fixtures and activities involving non-fully professional clubs are to be postponed until further notice. The JD Cymru Leagues will make a separate announcement as to whether any fixtures involving fully professional clubs can take place during this period.
“The NSG includes representation from Sport Wales, Welsh Sports Association, Welsh Government and Commonwealth Games Wales to consider the elite status designation.
“The decision by the NSG has been made in the context of the rapidly developing public health crisis here in Wales.
“The NSG has confirmed that the elite status designation will be automatically re-instated under lower Alert Levels.
“The FAW previously announced on 19 December that all football activity below the leagues detailed above will be suspended during Alert Level 4.
“The FAW urges everyone to follow the Welsh Government guidelines during the firebreak lockdown to limit the spread of COVID-19.”