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Football’s return gets green light from FAW

FOOTBALL across Wales will return on Saturday, January 8, after confirmation from the Football Association of Wales (FAW).

Leagues across the country were on a winter break but there was doubt over whether or not football could be played following the announcement of new covid-19 restrictions from the Welsh Government.

The news of football’s return was confirmed on Tuesday, January 4, by the FAW’s Community Game Board and National League Board.

All matches in the Adran North and South, Ardal League and Area Association competitions can return, subject to the FAWs Return to Play protocols being adhered to and any changes in Welsh Government Coronavirus regulations and guidance.

A spokesperson for the FAW said: “The Welsh Government Coronavirus Regulations do not permit any spectators at professional or elite sporting events and the FAW National League Board acknowledges the significant loss of income that clubs in the Cymru Leagues will face with matches taking place behind closed doors.

“The Adran Premier clubs are also prevented from having spectators in their stadiums at this current time.

“The FAW will continue its consultation with those clubs this week before any further decisions are made.”

Teams will need to follow a number of protocols when they return including managing spectators, (50 outdoors and 30 indoors) for each match.

Teams will also need to agree to participate in any fixtures scheduled under amended Return to Play protocols.

There will be no sanctions if teams request a fixture postponement due to positive cases of COVID-19 affecting a team’s ability to fulfil a fixture, or the unavailability of changing rooms where 2m social distancing cannot be followed.

The FAW has also advised that any postponement requests are done as early as possible to the relevant authority.

The spokesperson added: “The FAW is in regular contact with the Welsh Government on this matter to ensure that they are fully aware of the procedures that are in place for football matches to take place safely during this current stage of the pandemic.

“The FAW would like to reiterate the importance of people receiving two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination and the booster vaccine. For more information on vaccinations, please visit Public Health Wales.”