All 'non-elite' football to be suspended for a month on Thursday due to the Covid-19 pandemic
The football season from steps three and below in English football's pyramid season will be temporarily brought to a halt this weekend for a month due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
After the Government announced at the weekend that the country was set to enter a second national lockdown, the FA have moved to clarify what that will mean for the 2020/21 football season.
While clubs considered to be at elite level - which is the Premier League down to the National League North - will be able to continue behind closed doors, all football games and training below that level must be suspended from this Thursday until December 2.
The new ruling affects semi-professional clubs in the Northern Premier League such as Bamber Bridge and Lancaster City as well as teams like Longridge Town, Garstang and Charnock Richard in the North West Counties League.
All games and training from steps three to seven in the women's game will also be suspended along with grassroots football from amateur to junior level.
However, the FA have confirmed that all 10 of 'non-elite' teams remaining in the FA Cup will be able to play their first-round fixtures this weekend under 'elite' protocols.
The FA statement said: "The FA has provided an update for ‘non-elite’ football in England following the UK Government’s announcement on new national Covid-19 restrictions that will be in place from Thursday 5 November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December 2020.
"As a result of the UK Government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions, and subject to Members of Parliament voting tomorrow [Wednesday 4 November 2020] and the publication of bespoke guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport [DCMS], the impact on ‘non elite’ football in England will include the suspension of the following during this period:
"All fixtures and training for Steps 3-6 of the National League System [NLS];
"All fixtures and training for Tiers 3-7 of the Women’s Football Pyramid [WFP];
"All fixtures and training for the Regional NLS Feeder Leagues;
"All fixtures and training for The Barclays FA WSL Academy League;
"All fixtures and training for FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs;
"All fixtures and training for indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football.
"The FA’s aim is to ensure that the 2020/21 season is completed at these levels and will liaise with the relevant leagues in the NLS and WFP and the County Football Associations [CFAs] to provide support and establish appropriate options to do so if required.
"The UK Government has confirmed that school sport can continue as an exemption during this period."