The debate over when to restart the Airtricity League winds on and on but amateur footballers around the country will get their teeth into competitive football again on July 18 under new directives from the FAI.
The Association has announced a second Safer Return to Play Protocol for the adult amateur game, the underage national leagues, and the underage game as a whole which will see them return to full-contact training, including games between teams from the same club, this coming Monday.
Friendly games have been green-lit as of July 11 with competitions getting the go-ahead seven days later. The FAI's steering group, in consultation with the medical director Dr Alan Byrne, has published the protocols on the FAI's website.
“The Safer Return to Play Protocol is based on the latest Government guidelines and advice from the Department of Health and HSE as lockdown measures around Covid-19 ease,” said a statement.
“The FAI remains committed to the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business and any return dates announced today are subject to change, as per Government guidelines.
“The decision to move from cessation to a return to competitive football from July 18th applies to adult amateur and underage football under the jurisdiction of the FAI and will apply to all players, coaches, match officials, club officials, volunteers, parents, and guardians.”
Meanwhile, discussions between the FAI and Airtricity League clubs over when to restart the Premier and First Divisions, issues of promotion and relegation, financial assistance, and whether or not to hold the FAI Cup this season, continue today.