Football Activity Guidance
The FA released their latest guidance on 1st June permitting certain strictly controlled grassroots football activities at this point in the Covid-19 outbreak (full details below). This is a reflection of the easing in government restrictions about meeting people who are not members of your immediate household, and requires strict social distancing measures to be maintained at all times.
At Lancashire FA, we are delighted to see these green shoots for the return of football and welcome this guidance, but do urge caution to our community to ensure that best practice is always followed. With concerns having been raised to us about people playing football and flouting The FA guidance and government advice on social distancing, a focus is needed on the serious long-term repercussions for everyone involved in the game if this type of reckless activity doesn't stop.
Football, as a pivotal community activity, has an immense part to play in controlling the virus and we all need to work together to ensure there is ongoing progress for the phased return to full football activities. Key to this is staying safety conscious, viewing the big picture of what we are trying to achieve and sticking to the rules.
Resuming Footballing Activities
We know that many of the people reading this are volunteers in our footballing community and, before proceeding, with any activities we want you to carefully consider your own personal situation and ensure that you are not putting yourself or your family at risk. If you decide that you are able to resume footballing activities as per the guidance, then you need to make sure you:
• Are following the correct government advice on social distancing and are maintaining appropriate distances (2 metres) between people who are your responsibility.
• Are following the guidance by The FA.
• Are always considering the risks, and have completed risk assessments for Health & Safety, First Aid and PPE, and have appropriate and sufficient PPE and first aid equipment with you.
• Have checked that your insurance (both personal accident and public liability) is in place and adequate for your activities.
If, having considered the above elements carefully, including your personal situation, you do not feel you can work within the safety parameters put in place by The FA, then you should not continue with any football activities as this could jeopardise both your own and your family's health, as well as those of the people in your care, risking a second wave of infections that could ultimately delay the full return to football.
We know it is a frustrating time at the moment and we really appreciate your patience whilst The FA works as quickly as possible with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to interpret government guidance and issue guidance to the footballing community.
We are expecting further guidance, and a roadmap for progress, to be provided by The FA for players, facility providers, parents and coaches at the end of the week. We will be sharing this with you, along with our own, Lancashire FA, guidance documents as soon as possible.
This challenging time has brought the best out of our footballing community, with creative online activities to maintain a team spirit and generous donations of time and energy for fund-raising to help those most in need and to support our key workers, who deserve our enduring respect and gratitude.
We are used to coming together as a team and as a football community, and we need to keep this spirit going and hold back any impatience we may be feeling, so that we can bring football back stronger than before and without risking all that we have done so far to reduce the spread of infections.
Please stay safe, keep well, and follow the guidance so we can sustainably return football to our community for the long-term.
Full FA Guidance | 1st June 2020
The latest update for permitted grassroots football during the COVID-19 outbreak.
We have today issued further guidance to all grassroots football and informal football activity outside the professional game following the Government’s relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions from 1 June 2020.
Consistent with Government advice published on Monday 1 June, the following outdoor football activity is currently permitted:
• playing football individually. For example, practice of individual skills or fitness activities;
• playing football with your family or other people living in your household;
• football training or fitness activities in groups of no more than six, keeping two metres apart at all times.
Sharing of equipment should be kept to a minimum and strong hand hygiene practices should be in place before and after. Physical contact with anyone outside of your household is not permitted, therefore playing of any games (small-sided or full) is also not permitted at this time. Avoid meeting in groups of six in busy or overcrowded areas if it is so busy that it is not possible to maintain social distancing at all times.
Football coaches can now undertake small group sessions up to six people (including the coach) but are reminded to follow FA safeguarding policy when coaching/working with children. This must include risk assessing the activities, gaining consent from parents/carers and ensuring you are in sight of another adult. For example, a parent/carer or another coach and that the ratio of coach to different age-groups of children is appropriate – see download 5.5. For clarity, the additional parent/carer or coach is not included as part of the group of six but must remain in sight of the activity.
It is permissible for coaches to organise a training session that has two or more groups of six (including the coach) involved in the session, as long as the groups of six are kept separate, everyone is socially distancing and strict hygiene measures are in place with any equipment.
Football coaches working with people with impairments must ensure they can adequately cater for any additional needs whilst still avoiding physical contact and maintaining social distancing. Individuals should follow Government guidance relevant to their own impairment or health condition.
Please be reminded, if an individual is symptomatic, living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if you're classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at home.
We continue to work closely with DCMS and Sport England in order to set out good practice guidance for those responsible for delivering different aspects of grassroots football and we will provide further updates to as guidance information is shared.