The FAI Steering Group looking at a return to action has highlighted three key areas around return to play protocols for the amateur adult and underage game.
The group met virtually yesterday following further consultation with stakeholders in the wake of the publication of the Government’s Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business.
Guidance has been sought from government with regard to:
* A clear policy to manage all risks for volunteers around a return to play and to ensure a safe environment for all participants.
* Clarity on the effects of social distancing on contact sport as per the phases outlined in the Government’s Roadmap.
* Guidance on the infrastructural costs for amateur adult and underage clubs around safe return to play protocols.
More detailed advice on returning to workplaces has been given and it is likely that the next main focus for detailed advice will relate to schools having to plan for potentially major structural and behavioural change ahead of schools returning in September.
Sport will be high on the agenda given its profile and in recognition of the importance in community and wellbeing terms but it will have to wait its turn in terms of focused consideration.
It will help though that each of the three major field sports and Sport Ireland and others have their own team of medical advisers that can propose plans rather than just wait on others to say what can be done.
“We await a response from Government, having submitted a series of key questions to Sport Ireland around a safe return to play for everyone involved in amateur adult and underage football,” said Steering Group Chair Ger McDermott.
“We again advise all affiliates to postpone any decisions on a return to training or football until the Government responds. The Steering Group will then meet to consider the outcome of that response.”
“Only then can we issue clear guidelines to our clubs, leagues and all affiliates on a safe return to training and playing. We thank them all for their patience to date and for continuing to abide by HSE guidelines.”
“Fair play you are doing a brilliant job of keeping us all informed and motivated”