It is certainly a confusing time right now, as our Clubs try their best to prepare for the return of competitive football – whilst obeying the latest Government guidelines.
There are many questions out there, with answers to them not always easy to give, with many of them club specific and open to opinion.
We have however tried our best and below have responded to the questions sent in by clubs in the past week with our answers using the latest guidelines available.
Do players have to wear their kit to a game?
Players are only required to arrive in their own kit for Training.
For League matches 8 people can use the Changing Rooms at one time with, 2 people can use the shower area at the same time.
It is for the home club to organise safe social distancing areas for players waiting to use the changing rooms pre and post match.
The Guidelines on Changing Rooms will vary club by club – the key is Social Distancing. If, as in Crowborough’s case, you have 4 Changing Rooms available you will be able to utilise them to maintain the correct Social Distancing. Some Clubs have limited space and players may be advised to arrive changed with post-match facilities limited to how many players at a time can use them.
Can the changing rooms be used for team talks before the game or at half time?
No, because social distancing would not be met.
Home clubs must arrange suitable team talk areas observing social distancing.
A back-up plan may be needed in case of bad weather.
Can the Clubhouse be used to sell refreshments?
Clubs who have Licenses to sell drinks must operate under Government Guidelines including Social Distancing. This may also include writing the names and a contact number down of people using the bar.
At present Home Clubs cannot provide refreshments after the match in the standard way to Players, Match Officials and Club Officials.
Are spectators allowed to games?
Spectators cannot attend any matches until told otherwise. Pre-season games need to be played ‘Behind Closed Doors’. If there is no update on spectators being allowed in by 22nd August we will delay our 5th September start to the season until we get it. No fans, no League games.
How can a physio safely treat players?
Player treatment will depend on the injury, if it’s a safe injury it is only necessary to replace gloves for each treatment. If there is a blood injury any items which have blood stains need changing before the next player is attended to.
Away from the pitch, players can receive treatment in the medical room or an allocated safe area at the club. If this is in the changing room it must be part of the limit of 8 people in occupation at the one time.
Who decides how Risk Assessments are policed?
The home Club decides how match days are monitored using all of the available facilities – achieving safe social distancing and meeting FA guidelines.
All Risk Assesments will be specific to that home ground. These should be shared with their visitors, posted on the Club Website, sent in to the League and made available to read for any official visitors.
If away Clubs familiarise themselves with the Risk Assesment of the Club they are visiting then all should run smoothly.
Summary of Requirements
Clubs are urged to focus on the headings given in the Risk Assessment document, so they ensure they cover the requirements set.
• Travel to and from Matches
• Welfare of all those attending a match
• Equipment used to be cleaned pre- and post-match
• Medical / Physio / Therapists to be aware of Covid-19 requirements
• Facilities (Dressing Rooms)/ Showers to used in accordance with official guidelines
• Technical Areas to be extended or seating to achieve social distancing
• WC and Washing Facilities to meet Covid-19 requirements including cleaning
• Ingress and Egress of all Stadium Areas to be clearly signposted
• Match Officials and Match Observers to be provided with all Social Distancing requirements
It is fair to say these are challenging times for everyone but by working together we can provide safe football for everyone in the League and those who support the clubs.
Latest FA Downloads – 18th July