Football banned at many levels in government's latest Covid clampdown
The FA has outlined what the new national lockdown means for football - and inevitably it is not good news.
Although most football across Sussex and the south-east was already on hold with the region in Covid tier four, FA bosses have clarified what is allowed and what is not.
Elite sport can continue - and in football that essentially means the Premier League, Football League and National League plus the top two divisions of English women's football.
The FA said in a statement on Monday night: "We note the UK Government’s announcement on Monday 4 January with regards to the new national COVID-19 restrictions and lockdown.
"As a result, the impact on ‘non-elite’ football in England will include the suspension of fixtures and training across the following with immediate effect: Steps three to six of the National League System; Tiers three to seven of the Women’s Football Pyramid; Regional NLS feeder leagues; Barclays FA WSL Academy League (unless under elite status); FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs (unless under elite status); All indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football, including under-18s (except organised outdoor football for disabled people, which is allowed to continue); Vitality Women’s FA Cup (which is currently classified as ‘non-elite’ at this stage in the competition).
"It is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers and facility providers adhere to the Government’s new national COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and we implore everyone to follow these.
"Dialogue will continue with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, leagues, competitions and County Football Associations and we will provide further updates for the 2020-21 Vitality Women’s FA Cup, Buildbase FA Vase and ‘non-elite’ football when relevant.
"We would like to thank the football community once again for its hard work, resilience and understanding during such an incredibly challenging period for both the game and wider society."
The new rules come as many local leagues ponder how they can possibly get the 2020-21 played to a natural end.