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FAI provide update as return to football activities accelerated in latest announcement

Fri, Jun 19 2020

The FAI has confirmed a new pathway for a safer return of football in light of the latest government roadmap changes on Friday evening.

In a statement released this evening, the association confirmed that all full contact training can resume on June 29th.

They also said that League of Ireland clubs can play friendly games against each other from June 29th and against Adult Amateur teams from July 11th. 

Underage National League clubs are permitted to train from June 29th and can play friendly games from July 11th. 

Adult amateur teams may also play friendlies from July 11th and can also return to competitive action by July 18th.

In addition, the FAI has also noted that they are to suspend all testing of players and staff from European qualified teams

“The results to date from the six rounds of testing have all been negative and that is a real indicator that our game is a minimal contact sport which reduces the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our players,” said FAI Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne to the FAI’s media department. 

“When you analyse those results and look at the medical evidence from other leagues around Europe, I am confident that we can suspend testing now as we prepare for a Safer Return to Football. 

“Our aim from the very outset of this process has been to accommodate a return to play that is as safe as we can possibly make it for our players, match officials, staff and everyone involved with our clubs.

“I have said all along that the only certainty with COVID-19 is the uncertainty, but these results all suggest that we are moving in the right direction as we look to get Irish football back to something approaching normality. 

“We remain committed to Government guidelines around COVID-19 and this decision can be reversed if circumstances change.

“I would give great credit to all the players and staff from the four clubs who have made this pilot programme a success.” 

The association concluded by saying that talks are still ongoing regarding a return to League of Ireland and Women’s National League action, with a proposed solution due early next week.