A week on from the FAI’s cancellation of the remainder of their elite junior seasons, there’s some light at the end of a dark, strange tunnel.
Well, the light is much brighter for those involved in the FAI’s underage national leagues for U17 Girls, Boys and U19 Boys with news that their games can recommence this weekend.
The news was announced on social media via Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers following discussions with Minister Catherine Martin to facilitate the return of football at all levels of the game at the earliest opportunity.
That Tweet read “The FAI Elite Under 17s and Under 19s leagues can now recommence and continue in line with the decision to facilitate the Minor and Under 20 Intercounty Championship.”
Further to the announcement, it seems Chambers is hopeful this will open the door to more sports.
“I have written to all national governing bodies of sport to engage urgently over the coming weeks with sporting bodies to consider all available evidence and data for the purposes of informing the development of tailored proposals and approaches for future mitigation measures”, he continued.
“It is envisaged that such proposals would enable the Government to review and potentially adapt the suite of public health measures currently applying to sport, competition and exercise activities for many of our indoor and outdoor sports.”
A welcome decision
“This is great news for our players in the Under 19 and Under 17 National Leagues and we thank the Ministers and their colleagues in the Department and Sport Ireland for their help in getting these boys and girls back on the pitch”, said FAI Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Hill in welcoming the Minister’s announcement
“We see this as another step forward in getting all football back in action as soon as it safe and feasible in these COVID-19 times.”
“Only today we have written to Minister Chambers and Sport Ireland assuring them of our full support for the initiative they have just launched to allow all competitive sport to return as quickly as possible. We thank the Government and all the politicians who have worked in the best interests of our footballers during this pandemic and look forward to continuing our work together on behalf of Irish sport in the battle against Covid-19.”
While their U13 and U15 sides will have to sit things out as it stands, it does mean good news for local side Carlow Kilkenny FC whose U17s can get straight back to work.