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Lincolnshire FA CEO Open Letter - Return of Grassroots Football

Lincolnshire FA's Chief Executive Officer, Nick Hanson, has penned an open letter to members on the return to grassroots football.

Thank you for your patience and understanding over the recent weeks when football was suspended. 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the hard-working volunteers who are going above and beyond to ensure football is played safely, whether that be players, officials, coaches or spectators.  However, it is imperative that everyone involved in the grassroots game continues to be vigilant and follows the Governments restrictions and the guidance set in place by the Football Association.  

Grassroots football and other sporting activities are permitted despite wider restrictions because of the benefits of sport and physical activity for people’s physical and mental wellbeing. If people act irresponsibly when participating in grassroots football (including off the pitch, and when socialising before and after activity) they jeopardize public health and undermine the case for safe sport to take place. If there are serious or consistent concerns with non-compliance of COVID guidelines at grassroots football which fail to be addressed, then the Government may revoke the ability for grassroots football to take place.

The Football Association and Lincolnshire FA are responsible for ensuring that clubs and leagues are running their activities safely, and we will act to address any issues. For the avoidance of any doubt, any team where it is found that Players, Coaches, Volunteers or Spectators are not adhering to the government restrictions and FA guidance, will face sanctions for non-compliance, including removal of fixtures.

Here is the link to the latest FA guidance, which I strongly urge you to revisit and where necessary update relevant policies and procedures.  The guidance has been developed to respond to the constant updates in national policy. I cannot stress enough the critical importance of all involved in the game doing their level best to allow the grassroots game to continue. We all, clubs, parents, players, match officials and spectators, have a responsibility to keep our game safe. We require your ongoing support and I ask that you remind all involved of their obligation to comply with the safety measures that are in place. As ever, we are available to provide further support to help the implementation of the guidance where requested.  

The key message for those involved in football in Lincolnshire is as follows:

  • Social distancing wherever possible for players, and always in the case of spectators
  • Implement and follow robust hygiene standards as per individual club risk assessments
  • Effective registering of attendees primarily via the NHS Test and Trace QR code system
  • Consider your approach to spectators. If you feel you cannot comply with the guidance on spectators please take appropriate measures, which may include limiting the number of spectators. To support this, it is our recommendation that at youth games, where possible, a maximum of one adult accompanies each child.

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do in ensuring the football is played and enjoyed in as safe an environment as possible.

Nick Hanson

Nick Hanson