Message from the ECFA:
Since the early summer Grassroots / Non Elite Football has been on a journey to gradually bring back football. Careful steps have been taken by the FA, in conjunction with the Government, that allowed the gradual phased return of grassroots football and opened the pathway for football to return in a competitive format for the 20/21 season in a covid secure way, by adhering to the FA guidance. Since early September fixtures and competitive football have been taking place across Essex. This continued during the introduction of the Local Tiered Levels of restriction when the majority of Essex was under a Tier 2 Level.
Throughout this period football has severed its local communities by providing training and match play opportunities for U7’s through to adults, engaging more than 60,000 participants on a weekly basis across all forms and formats of football. This network of activity is supported by thousands of volunteers who coordinate and facilitate this activity which has provided much needed and vital physical health, fitness and mental wellbeing benefits for the local community. The social value this has brought to local communities at this critical time has been immense, and I have written to all Local Authorities (LA) in Essex highlighting the significant contribution local volunteer led football is making within each LA.
However, following the UK Government’s announcement on new national Covid-19 restrictions that will be in place from Thursday 5 November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December 2020, it has been confirmed by the FA, following consultation Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport [DCMS], the impact on ‘non elite’ football in England will include the suspension of the following during this period:
· All fixtures and training for Steps 3-6 of the National League System [NLS];
· All fixtures and training for Tiers 3-7 of the Women’s Football Pyramid [WFP];
· All fixtures and training for the Regional NLS Feeder Leagues;
· All fixtures and training for The Barclays FA WSL Academy League;
· All fixtures and training for FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs;
· All fixtures and training for indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football.
This information has been shared widely on our website and social media channels but the latest guidance and information including an FA FAQ document can be accessed at https://www.essexfa.com/about/coronavirus
This is naturally disappointing, but as a collective game we need to support the Government position and play our part in the ongoing fight to prevent the spread of the virus and protect the NHS.
This is the latest step on the football journey through the 20/21 season. Across all stakeholders in the game there has been an overwhelming drive and determination to bring the game of football back to a position where it can serve local communities. This has been because of the commitment, passion and hard work of the thousands of volunteers and stakeholders across the game including clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers and facility providers. From all at Essex FA thank you for all the ongoing work and contributions that have been made and it is equally important that we now adhere to the UK Government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions during this period.
All Essex FA staff remain fully contactable and available for support. If you wish to discuss any of the above in more detail, or require support in specific areas, then please contact the Essex FA Development, Coach Education, Refereeing, Safeguarding or Governance Teams via E-Mail or telephone.
From all at Essex FA, thank you to all of our members for the ongoing support and commitment to grassroots football in Essex.