Statement | Coaching During COVID-19 Shutdown

The FA has today issued guidance to all grassroots football and informal football activity outside the professional game.

Consistent with Government advice, published on Wednesday 13 May, the following outdoor football activity is currently permitted:

  • playing football individually e.g. practice of individual skills or fitness activities;
  • playing football with your family or other people living in your household;
  • an individual can play football with one other person who is not from their household.
  • coaching an adult player one to one.

All social distancing guidelines must be followed.

Additionally, maintaining a grass or artificial football pitch is permitted, as long as social distancing and appropriate hygiene practices are adopted.

If an individual is symptomatic, living in a household with a possible COVID-19 infection or if you are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at home.

The revised government advice states:

“If you are a personal trainer/coach you can now work with clients outdoors, providing you are alone and only meeting with 1 person from outside of your household, outdoors, and you are staying a minimum of 2 metres apart.”

This guidance is aimed specifically at those who derive an income from coaching who would otherwise risk financial hardship. We still ask that given the prominent role football plays in wider society, and the necessity to drive down rates of viral contraction, that our grassroots clubs avoid any coaching activity until further restrictions are lifted.

The above guidance is NOT applicable to youth football. To observe the above social distancing stipulations would require the coach to meet one-to-one with a minor which is clearly in breach of safeguarding protocols. There cannot currently be any form of coaching within the youth game other than online or virtual sessions.

As such, the following football activity is not permitted at this time, consistent with Government guidelines:

  • Coaching a child (U18) from a different household one to one. In order to comply with The FA’s safeguarding policy, a child must have a parent/carer with them, which doesn’t comply with Government social distancing requirements;
  • Two or more people from one household playing with one person or more from outside their household.

Lancashire FA share fully the frustration of the football family at this sustained period of inactivity. However, football is less important than lives. If we are all diligent in observing social distancing and rigorously adhering to government guidelines, we will overcome the virus more quickly and allow us to return to the game we all know and love.

The FA will continue to work with the Government and Sport England in order to provide guidance to grassroots football as the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy moves to the next phase.

We thank you all for your continued adherence to current restrictions, and your ongoing support of our beautiful game.