CORONAVIRUS: THE LATEST UPDATE AND BIRMINGHAM COUNTY FA'S STANCE
What is the latest on COVID-19 and its impact on football?
On Monday 16 March, The FA released the following statement announcing that grassroots football in England has been suspended.
“Following the Government's announcement today [Monday 16 March], for people to avoid social contact and gatherings where possible, we are now advising that all grassroots football in England is postponed for the foreseeable future.
“Throughout this period, we have taken Government advice with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all. We will continue to work closely with the grassroots game during this time.
“We are in regular communication with the Government and the situation within English football at all levels remains under regular review. Further updates will follow as needed.”
What is Birmingham County FA’s stance on this?
We are fully supportive of The FA’s announcement in line with the latest Government advice.
Therefore, we are now advising that all grassroots football across Birmingham County FA is postponed for the foreseeable future. This includes all matches, friendlies and training.
Please note, our County Cups and all Courses have also been postponed until further notice.
The health and wellbeing of everyone involved in football, including our staff, is paramount to us, which is why we are fully supportive of The FA’s announcement. This has resulted in us making the decision to close our Birmingham County Football Association Office (Ray Hall Lane, B43 6JF), with all staff working remotely from Wednesday 18 March onwards. Click on the link below for more information on this:
Kevin Shoemake, CEO at Birmingham County FA, has provided an update during this time of uncertainty following The FA’s announcement:
Following The FA announcement yesterday, I feel that there is a need to reiterate and clarify the position of Birmingham County FA.
The Government has still not officially and legally banned social gatherings, hence why the terminology includes reference to advise. Therefore, we are following their recommendation and The FA’s national advice to strongly advise that no football of any type is to be played for the foreseeable future.
This includes any League and Cup matches, indoor or outdoor training and any friendlies. This is For All formats of the game.
Birmingham County FA has rightly suspended all of our Courses, as well as all our County Cup competitions, and we know that the majority of all our Leagues have done similar for their League and Cup fixtures up until a review date sometime in April, alongside review periods based on changing Government guidance.
In our opinion, it is wholly irresponsible for any football participant to arrange a group gathering of any type, let alone football, and risk the spread of this virus to themselves and others. If anyone ludicrously, and somewhat selfishly, decides to play or train then this increases the risk of your members, players, parents/spectators and volunteers of catching and spreading the virus and putting others at an enhanced risk. Please also understand that your club and/or the venue’s Public Liability being null and void and your players not being covered under the team’s Personal Accident Policy should any accidents or incidents happen.
Our Ray Hall Lane Office, along with Wembley, St. George’s Park and all County FA Offices will be closing as of 5:30pm on Tuesday 17 March 2020 until further notice.
Information and updates will be available via our social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, and website. All Birmingham County FA employees are working remotely and effectively. Therefore, please direct all enquiries via our customer support portal by emailing: Support@BirminghamFA.com.
We fully appreciate the impact that this has, and will have, on football, but this is a sensible approach given the unprecedented circumstances we all face.
Football is the national game with over 11 million regular participants, which is over 15% of the population of England, with a reach which touches most communities and households.
We all now need to work together to reduce the risks and improve the situation For All as quickly as possible. We all have a collective responsibility to do so now and for the foreseeable future.
Take care, stay safe and look after yourselves and those closest to you.
CEO at Birmingham County FA