FAI and NLEC hold 'productive and realistic meeting' to draw out road map for the return of League of Ireland footballWed, Apr 22 2020
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and the National League Executive Committee (NLEC) held talks on Wednesday afternoon regarding the possibility of League of Ireland football resuming in line with Government, HSE and UEFA guidelines.
Delegates from both the FAI and the NLEC discussed the various options at length, including but not restricted to the following:
A resumption for the SSE Airtricity League behind closed doors on June 19th with the season to end no later than the end of December, a ‘behind closed doors’ policy to operate as long as HSE Guidelines recommend.
A resumption as planned on June 19th with stadium restrictions in line with HSE Guidelines including ‘behind closed doors’ and reduced capacity at 25% or 50%, the season to run until the end of December.
A resumption in July or August, based on Government advice and HSE guidelines.
A deferral of all National League activity until September with a reduced fixture programme season to run until the end of December.
A resumption of National League football in September with a full fixture programme season to run until the end of February 2021.
A decision is set to be made before the next government announcement on May 5th.
“These are unprecedented times for Irish life never mind football and all our clubs recognise that fact,” NLEC Chairperson Noel Byrne said.
“Today’s meeting again emphasised the need for the SSE Airtricity League clubs and the FAI to work together to ensure that our League comes through this difficult period in the best manner possible.
“We discussed all potential outcomes in depth today and we will now formulate a plan for the resumption of our National League that is the best one possible for our clubs, our fans and our players in line with best practice advice from the Government, the HSE and UEFA.”
Interim Deputy CEO of the FAI, Niall Quinn added: “Today’s meeting was productive and realistic in light of the most recent comments from An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, his Government and UEFA.
“We all understand the situation the country is in right now and we will continue to follow the guidelines laid down by the HSE and the Department of Health.
“We must also prepare for all eventualities around a return to football. The FAI and the NLEC are now working with the clubs to explore the financial impact around a return to action under all circumstances.
“We are engaging with the clubs now to see what income support they will need to get us back on the field and we look forward to productive engagement with them in the coming days so that we emerge from this difficult period in the strongest manner possible for everyone involved with the SSE Airtricity League.”