The English Football Association (FA) has announced that Non League Football will be suspended from Thursday 5 November for the duration of the England’s second Coronavirus lockdown.
This suspension will apply from Thursday 5 November to Wednesday 2 December 2020 with all Non League football clubs below those in National League North and South Divisions halting their fixture programmes, including the EBAC Northern League in North-East England.
Under these new restrictions which are subject to Members of Parliament voting them through on the evening of Wednesday 4 November 2020, all fixtures and trainings for clubs at levels 3-6 of the National League system and regional feeder series will be suspended.
It has also been confirmed that steps three to seven of the Women’s Football pyramid will also be suspended alongside Women’s Super League Academy League, FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs plus indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football, with no clubs under these tiers permitted to play fixtures or training until Thursday 3 December 2020 at earliest.
The FA have confirmed that they aim to guarantee that the 2020-21 season at all of the above levels are completed and will engage in communication with individual leagues plus County Football Associations (CFAs) to provide support and confirm appropriate options if are required to do so.
FA will continue to remain in dialogue with the Digital Culture of Media and Sports (DCMS), leagues, competitions plus CFAs with further clarity set to be released following the debate in House of Commons tomorrow evening.
FA Cup Ties Involving Non League Clubs to Go Ahead
Non League clubs like Skelmersdale United and FC United of Manchester who are set to participate in the First Round of 2020-21 FA Cup have been given permission to play their matches under ‘elite’ protocols this weekend, with teams allowed to train together as long as they remain in the competition but once eliminated, they aren’t permitted to train for remainder of lockdown.
The FA will provide further updates on fixtures and dates for Women’s FA Cup, FA Youth Cup, FA Trophy and FA Vase in due course depending on how events progress nationally across the coming weeks and months.
In their statement on the suspension of Non League football, the FA also acknowledged that getting football at these levels restarted ‘has taken substantial determination and commitment’ with assistance from stakeholders across the sport, whilst reiterating the importance that everyone involved continues to adhere to new restrictions from UK Government across the next month.