update on the return of outdoor grassroots football
The FA has provided an
update on the return of outdoor grassroots football and support available to
clubs across the grassroots football community.
On Monday 29 March, as part
of the next stage of the Government’s roadmap out of national lockdown, outdoor
sports facilities can open, and organised outdoor football can take place.
have now published our updated guidance,
based on the latest Government advice available, which applies to all outdoor youth
and adult football and futsal, including all formats of the game. If there are
any further updates from the Government, we will communicate these in due
course. We will also update our guidance as we move through the different steps
of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
The Government guidance on travel is that the ‘stay at home’
rule will end on Monday 29 March, but many restrictions will remain in place.
As organised sport can resume, all participants may travel to games but should
avoid travel at the busiest times and routes, as well as minimising any
unnecessary journeys where possible. All
participants must follow the government’s guidance on safer travel.
rooms cannot be used as part of step one in the roadmap out of lockdown and
must remain shut. Toilets will be allowed to open, 30 minutes before and 30
minutes after training and/or matches. All government guidance on hygiene and
social distancing measures must be followed.
spectators are allowed at grassroots football as part of step one of the
Government’s roadmap. One parent or guardian per child is permitted, where
clubs and facilities can safely accommodate this and following all appropriate guidance.
Indoor sport is
not currently allowed. This is planned to return no earlier than the 17th May,
as part of step three of the Government’s roadmap, apart from disability
football, which is currently allowed to take place indoors.
It is extremely
important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials,
volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow
both the UK Government's latest guidance on COVID-19 and respective bespoke
guidance documents from the FA. Any incidents of non-compliance will be
reported to the local County Football Association.
Further FA financial support for the
With the assistance of
Sport England, we are pleased to confirm we will be offering funding to County
FAs to provide discounted 2021-22 season affiliation. This will be available across the whole of affiliated football, assisting
everyone with getting back to the game they love, and especially those from
under-represented areas of the game such as women and girls, lower
socio-economic groups, minority groups and those with a disability.
We, alongside Sport
England, strongly encourage all of those restarting in the weeks ahead to
ensure that everyone is able to benefit, no matter their age or gender, from
fair and equal access to playing opportunities.
addition to this, our ‘Return to Football Fund’, made possible with Sport
England funding from the National Lottery, will provide £2.1 million targeted at
supporting people in low participation groups to start playing again. It will
also fund initiatives aimed at bringing new players into the game and cover the
cost of adapting to COVID-19 rules.
alongside our partners at The Football Foundation, we also recently announced two
other new funds to provide further financial support to clubs over the longer
term. The £14 million Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund is providing six-year
tapered grants to improve the quality of grass pitches, whilst the Small Grants
fund is available to help clubs pay for essential equipment and machinery they
need to start playing again. Clubs can apply for up to £25k to refurbish their
changing rooms, pay for grass pitch drainage, new goalposts, pitch maintenance
equipment and portable floodlights.
information about the funds and how to apply, visit the Football Foundation
Clubs and leagues can
access our online support hub and podcasts which includes up to date information, guidance and signposts as well as other useful information relating to funding and support services.
return to grassroots football guidance document can be downloaded below: