FAI extends football shutdown to April 19

The FAI have formally extended the shutdown of Irish football until April 19, inclusive, but said it still remains “committed” to a June return for the SSE Airtricity League.

FAI extends football shutdown to April 19

And the FAI’s Medical Director Alan Byrne has reiterated his advice that clubs should not engage in collective training for the duration of the cessation.

In a statement, the FAI said that, following directives from Government, the Department of Health and UEFA, the decision to extend the deadline for the return to football “has been taken in light of the ever-growing threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and in the best interests of our players, coaches, volunteers, supporters and staff. This decision will continue to be monitored on an ongoing basis.

“The FAI is in communication with the Department of Health and UEFA on COVID-19 and will continue to follow all government guidelines. The Association advises all members, volunteers and stakeholders to respect the HSE guidelines on social distancing during this pandemic.

“The Association remains committed to a June return for the SSE Airtricity League. Regular meetings are ongoing with representatives from the National League Executive Committee and the Professional Footballer’s Association of Ireland to help our clubs and players through this difficult time.”

The FAI also said that its Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne has again advised the Association that “in the current exceptional circumstances” clubs should not engage in collective training during the cessation period for all football activity under the FAI’s jurisdiction.

The statement added: “This recommendation is based on the government’s desire to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and Dr Byrne strongly advises against clubs training during this cessation period which runs until April 19th inclusive.”

More on this topic

Covid-19: Facts and figures of Ireland's fightback against the deadly virusCovid-19: Facts and figures of Ireland's fightback against the deadly virus

Browbeaten by quarantine but still forthright after a fortnight insideBrowbeaten by quarantine but still forthright after a fortnight inside

HSE prepares isolation and stepdown facilities at CitywestHSE prepares isolation and stepdown facilities at Citywest

HSE to bring in '15-year supply' of PPE for frontline staffHSE to bring in '15-year supply' of PPE for frontline staff