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South Ribble Borough Council challenge Lancashire FA’s decision to suspend grassroots football until new year

Posted on - 10th December, 2020 - 9:52am | Author - | Posted in - Politics, Preston News, South Ribble News, Sport
South Ribble Borough Council Pic: Ian Greig
South Ribble Borough Council Pic: Ian Greig

Lancashire FA announced their decision to suspend all amateur football matches until January on Friday 4 December.

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The decision was met with frustration and anger, which led Lancashire FA to release another statement to further explain why have taken this action.

The statement outlined that the decision was taken under professional recommendations from Public Health for Lancashire, Public Health for Blackburn and Darwen, Public Health England and the Local Resilience Forum (LRF) in Lancashire.

Read more: Lancashire FA explain further decision over temporary suspension of grassroots football in Preston and South Ribble

They identify potential risks and produces emergency plans to prevent or mitigate the impact of any incident on the local communities.

Within the statement issued on Friday, the information and statistics were explained.

Lancashire County Council’s Director of Public Health, Dr Sakthi Karunanithi, said: “I know that this news has been disappointing for many people, but it is important that we contain the spread of coronavirus, especially as we go into the Christmas period when more households will be mixing.

“We have been in discussion with the Lancashire FA and Public Health England to understand the current situation involving approximately 900 teams and around 27,000 players.

“This is a short-term measure and will be reviewed carefully. We aren’t far from getting more testing rolled out and vaccines becoming available. By working together as a team, we can all help to protect each other.”

Read moreHow Preston residents in low incomes can access financial support during the pandemic

South Ribble Borough Council look set to appeal the decision, however, after they released a statement on Wednesday, 9 December.

It said: “We know lots of people have been frustrated by the Lancashire FA’s decision to suspend grassroots football in South Ribble until the New Year.

“We wanted to let everyone know we’ve been in touch with the LFA and the county’s director of public health to request an urgent review of this decision to include our borough.

“This is given other parts of the county with similar infection rates are not included in this suspension of grassroots football.

“And other sports that take place indoors such as gymnastics and swimming can still go ahead.

“The wellbeing of our children is really important and we hope this decision can be reconsidered and restrictions lifted with immediate effect.”

People took to social media to praise the council’s stance on the matter.

One mum commented: “My 10 year old son is desperate to get back to football after missing so much this year.

“He lives and breathes for football so this has been a huge knock for him and he’s so upset about it being cancelled yet again especially as his brother and sister can continue their sports.

“If it was consistent with other sports then fair enough but it’s not. It makes no sense to any of us and it’s very hard to explain to young footballers!”

What do you think? Should grassroots football take place despite the coronavirus, or is it right to suspend it until the new year? Let us know in the comments below.

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