Dear football community,
Firstly, I would like to thank you all for the tremendous effort which our volunteer workforce has undertaken since football was able to resume earlier this year from the first lockdown.
The diligence and seriousness which the vast majority of our members have taken in order to make football a COVID safe environment, in addition to the safeguards which we already have in place, continues to deserve the upmost respect from our community.
With the latest government rules, grassroots football (Step 3 and below) has again been suspended until at least Wednesday 2 December. This includes training and matches, with the forced closure of both indoor and outdoor facilities. One-to-one training with Youth Players is not permitted under the Safeguarding Guidance set out by The Football Association.
Whilst this fills us with great sadness and frustration, we understand that these measures are necessary to ensure that we are safe in the long term, and to protect those vulnerable members of our community. We do however encourage our members to stay active outdoors for their physical and mental health, enjoying many beautiful parks and open spaces which we are fortunate to have in Staffordshire, whilst observing the COVID-19 measures.
Due to the work which has been undertaken by our leagues, clubs and teams, football in Staffordshire is in a very strong position to restart quickly once the Government allows. Risk Assessments have been written to safeguard all stakeholders in the game with the guidelines being enforced and followed. As we gear up for a restart Staffs FA will be publishing further reminders of what is required and expected in order to keep football as safe as possible.
We will keep our members updated with any developments through our website and newsletters, including a number of training and learning opportunities.
Finally, we truly understand that football is a major part of people’s lives. From our budding stars of the future aged five and six to our walking footballers, our army of volunteers to our committed fans and parents who cheer their teams on no matter rain or shine, football being suspended will hurt.
Please stay in touch with each other, your team-mates and fellow club members, as this will be a very difficult four weeks for many. Pick up the phone and talk football. Whilst we may not be able to enjoy face-to-face, this will make a huge difference and could be a vital lift for someone, helping to ensure that we get through this together – which we will.
Once football is given the green light again, we know that we are in a great position to restart quickly.
Stay safe and look after one another.
Chief Executive Officer
Staffordshire Football Association