On Monday 16th March, the Football Association suspended all grassroots football in England due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
The Association wishes to do all it can to ensure the safety and good health of everyone involved in Schools' Football in Middlesex and convened an Emergency Committee of Bob Chandler (Chair), Chris Ampofo (Vice Chair), Wayne Walsh (General Secretary) and Gareth Coates (Administrative Support) to consider how to address this unprecedented challenge.
The Emergency Committee noted that the outbreak is likely to affect day-to-day life for a considerable period of time and that the longer the situation lasts, the greater the potential for a clash between Cup Finals and examinations. In addition, COVID-19 is going to place additional pressures on schools throughout the County.
With this in mind, the Emergency Committee has, reluctantly, agreed the following:
- All unplayed 1st XI & Inter-District League matches shall be declared ‘void’ and the League Tables as they stood on 16th March 2020 shall be deemed ‘final’.
- As fewer than 50% of the scheduled matches were played, the 2nd XI League shall be abandoned and no medals awarded.
- For those Cup competitions where the two Finalists are known, those schools shall be declared Joint Winners of this season's tournament. Medals will be sent by post for distribution to the players.
- Those Cups where only one Finalist has qualified will be considered seperately by the full Management Committee.
These measures are not taken lightly; we appreciate that cancelling our Cup Finals is an extraordinary step and acknowledge that it is unsatisfactory that players will not get the opportunity to participate in a showpiece match. However, we feel that given the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the ever-changing advice from Government, it is better to provide clarity as to the MSFA Competitions now.
We anticipate starting the tournaments afresh in September 2020.
We would like to apologise to the schools affected for the disapointment caused and wish everyone involved in Schools' Football in Middlesex the best of health during these difficult times.