Grassroots football season can go on to end of June

The FA is allowing grass-roots football leagues to play on until the end of June - but the extension does not apply to divisions like those in the Isthmian League or the Southern Combination.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 9:47 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd February 2021, 9:50 pm
Grass-roots football has been granted a season extension by the FA

The rule change opens the way for many local sides to play the season to a finish if - collectively - teams and leagues want to do so.

The season extension does not apply to the National League System (NLS) Steps 3-6, Regional NLS Feeder Leagues and the Women’s Football Pyramid from Tier 3 and below, including County Leagues at Tier 7.

Step three and four leagues - the Isthmian, Southern and Northern leagues - meet on Tuesday to decide their view, which will have to be ratified by the FA.

An FA statement was issued on Monday night after PM Boris Johnson said outdoor sport could resume on March 29. At grass-roots level, teams are not dependent on paying fans like those at higher levels.

The FA said: "We welcome the UK Government’s update today regarding the Covid-19 roadmap for easing lockdown restrictions which means we can look forward to the safe return of grassroots football from 29 March for both adults and children.

"With this new clarity around timings, we will continue to work with Government on plans for a safe return for grassroots football across England and will communicate updated guidance as soon as we can.

"We can also confirm that the 2020-21 grassroots season has been extended until the end of June in order to provide additional flexibility and time for leagues to complete their fixtures this season if they wish to do so.

"Please note: the extension does not apply to the National League System (NLS) Steps 3-6, Regional NLS Feeder Leagues and the Women’s Football Pyramid from Tier 3 and below, including County Leagues at Tier 7, as the process to determine the preferred route forward for these competitions is currently ongoing. We will provide a further update on this in due course."