FAI extends suspension of football until April as League of Ireland's June return date remains in place

The Football Association of Ireland today announced an extension to the cessation of all football under its jurisdiction until April 19th inclusive.The Football Association of Ireland today announced an extension to the cessation of all football under its jurisdiction until April 19th inclusive.
The Football Association of Ireland today announced an extension to the cessation of all football under its jurisdiction until April 19th inclusive. | other
THE FOOTBALL Association of Ireland has extended the suspension of football under its jurisdiction until April 19th inclusive, following directives from Government, the Department of Health and UEFA.

The association had last month suspended all football matches until March 29th next with Derry City originally set to miss just four league fixtures.

However, following a meeting between the FAI and the National League Executive Committee last week via a a tele-conference conducted from Abbotstown, the weekend beginning June 19th was confirmed as a target date for the resumption of SSE Airtricity League football in the wake of the worsening COVID-19 pandemic.

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That would require the cancellation of the last round of fixtures in the Premier Division, now reduced to 27 games in total.

The association today announced it remains committed to its decision to suspend the League of Ireland until June, however, Derry City and its fellow League of League clubs will be allowed to resume training from next month onwards according to the FAI's latest statement.

"The decision to extend the deadline for the return to football has been taken in light of the ever-growing threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and in the best interests of our players, coaches, volunteers, supporters and staff. This decision will continue to be monitored on an ongoing basis," read the statement.

"The FAI is in communication with the Department of Health and UEFA on COVID-19 and will continue to follow all government guidelines. The Association advises all members, volunteers and stakeholders to respect the HSE guidelines on social distancing during this pandemic.

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"The Association remains committed to a June return for the SSE Airtricity League. Regular meetings are ongoing with representatives from the National League Executive Committee and the Professional Footballer’s Association of Ireland to help our clubs and players through this difficult time.

"FAI Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne has again advised the FAI that in the current exceptional circumstances, clubs should not engage in collective training during the cessation period for all football activity under the FAI’s jurisdiction.

"This recommendation is based on the government’s desire to avoid the spread of COVID-19 and Dr Byrne strongly advises against clubs training during this cessation period which runs until April 19th inclusive."