Norfolk FA Statement: Covid-19 update
18 July 2020:
The FA issues guidelines for the return of outdoor competitive grassroots football.
The FA can confirm that the UK Government approved its plan for the return of outdoor grassroots football late last night, Friday 17 July 2020.
As a result, the grassroots football community now has the opportunity to return to football and prepare for the start of the new season.
The FA has been working hard over recent weeks to prepare guidelines for the safe return of grassroots football and, following Government approval, these can now be published.
Football activity can take place with necessary modifications in place to mitigate the transmission risk of COVID-19.
The FA would strongly recommend a phased return to competitive football activity as follows:
· Until 31 July – When ready, you can begin competitive training, with the overall group size (inclusive of coaches) being limited to 30 people;
· From August – Competitive matches to begin, for example pre-season fixtures, festivals and small sided football competitions;
· From September – Grassroots leagues, men’s National League System, Women’s Football Pyramid tiers 3 to 6, and FA Competitions can commence.
Clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents/carers, spectators and football facility providers should read The FA’s full guidelines, which are accessible below, in addition to the latest Government guidance on COVID-19.
A return to competitive football should only happen once clubs and facility providers have completed the necessary risk assessments and comprehensive plans are in place.
Read the full statement and relevant guidance documents here: http://www.norfolkfa.com/home/news/2020/jul/17/ fa-guidance-issued-for-return-of-outdoor-competitive-grassroots-football
17 July 2020:
The FA welcomes the Government’s positive update today which means they can step up the efforts to get fans back into stadiums as soon as possible.
This work will go hand in hand with the imminent return of grassroots football, The FA's planning for the resumption of men’s and women’s international fixtures and the return of women’s football with the Barclays FA WSL and Women’s FA Cup.
Read the full statement here: http://www.thefa.com/news/2020/jul/17/the-fa-welcomes-possible-return-of-fans-to-fixtures-170720
9 July 2020:
The FA welcomes the announcement and publication of the Government’s Return to recreational sport framework today which means we can look forward to the safe return of competitive grassroots football.
The FA are now working to submit a comprehensive action plan and related guidance for Government approval as outlined in DCMS’s publication. Once approved, The FA will publish new guidance for the grassroots football community. The FA will confirm timings as soon as they are able. In the meantime, competitive grassroots football can prepare to return and look forward to the start of the new season.
Please continue to refer to the latest guidance documents for adult players, coaches, facility operators, parents and carers involved in re-starting grassroots football activity which came into effect from 4th July until a further update is provided, in addition to the latest Government guidance on COVID-19. Please also note that guidance is being developed for clubs with teams competing in the National League System (NLS) and will be shared with those clubs directly in due course.
3 July 2020:
Following recent Government updates to the COVID-19 guidance, The FA now have updated guidance documents for adult players, coaches, facility operators, parents and carers involved in re-starting grassroots football activity from Saturday 4 July.
These are available for download by CLICKING HERE, along with some practical tips for coaches working with individuals, pairs, and in threes.
These guidelines have been produced in line with the recent Government updates to the COVID-19 guidance. Specifically, these documents have been updated to reflect changes to social distancing guidelines which will come into effect from 4 July and the introduction of support bubbles which came into effect on 10 June.
Thank you for playing your vital part in helping our great game get going again and let’s continue to work together to ensure football’s return is as smooth and safe as possible.
19 June 2020:
The FA have confirmed that following updated Government guidance issued on Monday 1 June, it is now permitted to undertake face-to-face ID document verification for DBS checks.
It is very important to be aware that these checks can only take place if both the verifier and those requiring their ID to be checked fully observe all Government guidelines at all time.
Further information regarding this has been sent to both the Secretary and Welfare Officer of all Norfolk FA affiliated Clubs and you can also find additional details on our FAQs page.
Please remember that new volunteers must not start working with children until their DBS check is accepted by The FA.
12 June 2020:
The FA have issued new guidance documents for adult players, coaches, facility operators, parents and carers involved in re-starting grassroots football activity during COVID-19.
These documents have been produced in line with Government guidance issued on Monday 1 June, which saw the easing of lockdown restrictions on gatherings, public spaces and outdoor activities and the phased return of outdoor sport and recreation.
The return of grassroots football is something that we know many are keen to see, but at this stage of the nation’s response to COVID-19, it must be done with careful consideration for everyone’s safety, especially vulnerable groups.
To view all of the Guidance Documents please click here: http://www.norfolkfa.com/news/2020/jun/12/new-covid19-guidance-issued
1 June 2020:
The FA has issued further guidance to all grassroots football & 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 e.g. 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 The 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 e.g. 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 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 are classified as extremely vulnerable on health grounds, the guidance is that you should remain at home.
The FA continues to work closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) and Sport England in order to provide good practice guidance for those responsible for delivering different aspects of grassroots football and we will share further information as soon as possible.
Read the FA's full statement here:
29 May 2020:
Norfolk FA has today announced that Club Affiliation for the 2020/21 season will be free of charge for all Norfolk clubs.
Furthermore Norfolk FA's sports insurance partner Sportsguard have also confirmed that all personal accident insurance fees will be reduced by 16.67%
All other prices, including Public Liability insurance and County Cup entry, remain frozen at 2019/20 rates meaning that all Clubs will benefit from significantly reduced costs for the new season.
Read the full statement and confirmed costings here:
15 May 2020:
The FA has today issued guidance for all grassroots football and informal football activity outside of the professional game, in accordance with the latest Government advice.
Consistent with Government advice, published on Wednesday 13 May, the following outdoor football activity is currently permitted:
• playing football individually (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.
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 our 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.
Read The FA's full statement here: http://www.thefa.com/news/2020/may/15/fa-guidance-on-permitted-grassroots-activity-during-covid-19-150520
22 April 2020:
The National League has released a statement regarding the culmination of the 19/20 season, confirming that all remaining league matches are to be cancelled.
National League Clubs were asked to support an ordinary resolution on 9 April to end the Playing Season for all fixtures scheduled up to and including 25 April 2020.
With almost 90% of responses returned it is evident a clear majority of Clubs are in favour, including a majority of Clubs in each of the National League, National League North and National League South divisions.
Read the full statement here: https://www.thenationalleague.org.uk/national-league-statement-remaining-league-matches-61884
14 April 2020:
A joint statement from Norfolk FA & our sanctioned Leagues.
Following the FA’s announcement on Thursday 26 March regarding the conclusion of the 2019/20 season for all grassroots football, the committees of all Norfolk FA sanctioned Leagues have been considering how to conclude their respective seasons, based upon the two options provided by The FA:
- 1.) Competitions are brought to an immediate end with results expunged (i.e. without promotion or relegation occurring
- 2.) League positions and promotions and relegations are resolved by a point per game calculation
On Tuesday 31 March, Norfolk FA hosted a meeting with all Leagues (Youth & Adult) at which the representatives of each League fed back on their current position and this was followed by a comprehensive discussion on the two potential outcomes and the implications for Norfolk football.
Each League has now done this and at a subsequent meeting on Wednesday 8 April all Leagues confirmed to us which option they have chosen.
Read the full statement here: http://www.norfolkfa.com/news/2020/apr/14/statement-conclusion-of-1920-season
9 April 2020:
The FA Council has today ratified the decision to conclude the 2019-20 season across steps three to seven of the National League System, tiers three to seven of the women’s football pyramid and the wider grassroots game.
The request to end the 2019-20 season was taken to the FA Council by the representatives of the relevant committees having been fully supported by the FA Board. The FA Council’s vote today was overwhelmingly in favour of ratifying the decision.
Read The FA's full statement here: http://www.thefa.com/news/2020/apr/09/fa-council-statement-090420
Read more about the decision making process from The FA's Head of the National League System, Laurence Jones: http://www.thefa.com/news/2020/apr/09/laurence-jones-fa-council-grassroots-decision-090420
Read more about the impact of Covid-19 on Women's football from The FA's Director of the Women's Professional Game, Kelly Simmons: https://womenscompetitions.thefa.com/en/Article/kelly-simmons-statement-womens-competitions-covid-19-fa-council-decision-090420
7 April 2020:
Norfolk FA has released an update confirming that, in line with Government advice, County Headquarters and all three FDC facilities will remain closed for the foreseeable future.
In addition we can confirm that with the exception of five members of staff, the Association has placed the remaining workforce on furlough through the Government’s Job Retention Scheme.
For the time being, please continue to direct enquiries to info@NorfolkFA.com or if more appropriate, to any of the five members of staff / generic mailboxes listed.
The update also features a note from our Chief Executive, Gavin Lemmon.
Read the full update here: http://www.norfolkfa.com/news/2020/apr/07/norfolk-fa-staff-update
6 April 2020:
Norfolk Club Development WebEx - Thursday 9 April
On Thursday 9th April a Club Development WebEx for Norfolk affiliated clubs has been arranged. During the WebEx information will be provided relating to a wide range of topics, including the new Sport England Community Emergency Fund, current available funding via the Football Foundation, DBS checks within grassroots football, and a number of other relevant local updates.
Find out more about the WebEx and how to join here: http://www.norfolkfa.com/news/2020/apr/07/norfolk-club-development-webex
3 April 2020:
The FA is implementing temporary changes to DBS checks in football for the period that football is suspended due to coronavirus.
This decision has been made in light of the current cessation of football activity, difficulties regarding online ID verification for the purposes of renewing a DBS check and demand on the DBS service due to the current health crisis.
These changes will apply to all roles in football and can be found here: http://www.norfolkfa.com/news/2020/apr/03/dbs-checks-during-the-covid-19-outbreak
2 April 2020:
Sport England has announced a £20 million emergency fund for local sports clubs, leagues and community sports organisations who are experiencing short term financial hardship due to the impact of Covid-19.
Clubs, leagues and community organisations who are not currently in receipt of Sport England funding can apply for a grant of £300 - £10,000. This fund could provide a lifeline for a number of Norfolk affiliated football clubs & leagues who need emergency money to cover costs such as rent, utility costs, insurance, staffing, and facility/equipment hire. The fund is currently open for applications and will remain open until 31 July 2020.
Read more about the Sport England Community Emergency Fund here: http://www.norfolkfa.com/news/2020/apr/02/sport-england-community-emergency-fund
1 April 2020:
Joint statement from Norfolk FA & our Sanctioned Leagues.
Joint statement from Norfolk FA, the Hadley & Ottaway Anglian Combination, Central & South Norfolk League sponsored by Barnes Print, Sonata Security Great Yarmouth & District League, Mid Norfolk Youth League, East Point Sports Norfolk & Suffolk Youth League, Norfolk Christian Football League, Norfolk Combined Youth Football League, One Broker Veterans League, Norfolk Women’s & Girls Football League, Walcott Lighthouse Inn North East Norfolk League, RB Trucks North West Norfolk League and the Norwich & District Sunday League.
Following the FA’s announcement last week regarding the conclusion of the 2019/20 season for all grassroots football, the committees of all Norfolk FA sanctioned Leagues have reviewed the information and options provided to them by The FA with regards to the conclusion of the season in Norfolk.
On Tuesday evening, Norfolk FA hosted a meeting with all Leagues (Youth & Adult) at which they fed back with regards to their League’s preferred position and this was followed by a comprehensive discussion on the potential outcomes and implications for Norfolk football.
At this meeting it was clear that all Leagues wanted to ensure a collective approach to communicating with our Clubs, Officials, Players and Volunteers.
As such each League now has the opportunity to feedback the outcomes of the meeting to their respective Management Committees to allow them to review their preferred choice if they wish to do so.
Once all Leagues have completed this a further statement will be issued with regards to the conclusion of the grassroots season in the County.
We would like to take this opportunity to send our best wishes to all involved in the grassroots game in Norfolk and beyond. Please stay safe and continue to follow the government guidance and instructions put in place to help control the spread of the virus.
26 March 2020:
The FA has today released a statement to bring clarity to the conclusion of this season’s competitions.
Furthermore, we can now confirm that The FA has decided that all grassroots football is concluded for the 2019/20 season.
Read the full statement from The FA here: http://www.thefa.com/news/2020/mar/26/national-league-system-womens-football-pyramid-grassroots-covid-19-update-260320
20 March 2020:
After yesterday’s statement from The FA regarding the extended suspension of the Professional game until Thursday 30 April 2020, we can confirm that all County Cup Finals taking place at Norwich City FC’s Carrow Road are now postponed until further notice.
Furthermore, with the status of the Grassroots Game currently unknown, we are today confirming the postponement of ALL other Norfolk County Cup Finals that were scheduled throughout April and May.
A full list of this season’s Cup Finals that were due to take place at Carrow Road and The FDC, can be found here. http://www.norfolkfa.com/news/2020/feb/25/norfolk-county-cup-finals-2020
19 March 2020:
The FA has today released a statement confirming an extension of the 19/20 season indefinitely in relation to professional football.
In addition, the professional game in England will be further postponed until no earlier than Thursday 30 April 2020.
Read the full statement from The FA here: http://www.thefa.com/news/2020/mar/19/joint-fa-efl-premier-league-statement-update-on-professional-football-covid-19-190320
17 March 2020:
As per The FA's statement released last night, Grassroots Football has now been suspended nationally, for the foreseeable future.
This supersedes the mentioned earliest restart date of Friday 3 April within our statement yesterday.
Read the full statement from The FA here: http://www.thefa.com/news/2020/mar/16/grassroots-football-suspended-160320
County Headquarters & FDC Staffing
Please note: From today (Tuesday 17 March) at 3pm, County Headquarters will be closed to the public and staff will be working from home until further notice. Our Football Development Centres were closed to the public from yesterday afternoon and all centre staff are currently working from home until further notice.
From 3pm this afternoon, all phone lines will divert to voicemails which will be picked up by relevant staff members. In addition, working staff will be contactable via email the details for which are detailed on our staff page.
16 March 2020:
After another Emergency Board Meeting taking place today,
we are issuing the following update to all involved in Norfolk Football:
Today (Monday 16 March 2020) the Norfolk
County FA Board of Directors has taken the decision to suspend all of its
football activity in Norfolk with immediate effect until Friday 3 April.
After seeking the views of our sanctioned leagues across
the County, this includes the recommendation that all league fixtures be
postponed as well as organised team training throughout this period.
The County Cup fixtures including the Wensum Print Sunday
Junior Cup Final and the Norfolk Primary Cup Final due to take place on Friday
20 March and Friday 27 March respectively, have also been postponed.
In addition, our Football Development Facilities (theFDC,
Bowthorpe; theFDC@OpenAcademy and theFDC@Flegg) will cease operations from 3pm
this afternoon for this period; resulting in the postponement of all bookings,
activities and County 5IVES fixtures taking place at each of the FDC’s and
other satellite facilities throughout the county, until Friday 3 April. All
three FDC’s will however be staffed (not open to the public) from 9am-5pm each
day this week for customer queries, unless further Government advice is issued
that prevents this.
All of our Education Courses and Football Development
activities will also be suspended during this time and will result in any
courses, training or CPD events scheduled, being re-arranged for a later date.
County Headquarters & FDC Staffing
Moving forward, the County FA Headquarters will be operating
with some members of staff in the office and some working from home. All staff
that are working will be contactable via email and the County HQ phone lines
remain open via 01603 704050 (Ext. 1).
Those needing to contact staff members working from home
will be directed towards email communications or an alternative mobile number.
As mentioned previously, each of the Football Development
Centres will be staffed from 9am-5pm every day this week in order to answer
In the meantime, we wish the Norfolk Football community well
and urge them to follow the latest advice which can be found here:
Official NHS Advice
Chief Executive, Gavin Lemmon said: “In an ever-changing landscape and this unique situation we find ourselves in, the Board felt strongly that as a County FA it is our responsibility to not only act upon the guidance given to us by The FA and the UK Government, but also in the best interests of our participants, volunteers and staff.
“Without doubt this has been the most difficult decision we’ve ever faced and one that we know will not meet the approval of everyone, however we do ask that everyone involved in the grassroots game looks out for one another and for our clubs and leagues to operate in a way that best serves their participants, maintaining the priority of welfare for all.
"We will continue to monitor the situation closely at all times and should the need for updated advice or action occur, we will inform the Norfolk Football community as soon as possible.”