Officials from North Cumbria football leagues say they are “saddened” by the lockdown suspension of all grassroots football — but have pledged to complete the 2020-21 season.
It was confirmed earlier this week that all competitive games for adult and youth teams — along with indoor and outdoor training — would be put on ice during a temporary national shutdown which is due to run until 2nd December.
Practice sessions and matches began in early September as part of a phased return to action with safety measures in place and government guidance in force.
And Cumberland FA chief executive Ben Snowdon had previously called on all players, officials and spectators to ensure these were strictly followed so that games could continue.
But on Wednesday the Cumberland FA issued a joint statement, along with a host of other junior and senior county leagues, in which they described being “saddened” by the government’s “difficult” lockdown ruling.
“Like you, we have worked relentlessly behind the scenes to get grassroots football within Cumberland back up and running, as we understood and continue to see the benefits that the game has on all those involved,” said the statement.
“We would like to thank all those involved within our member clubs for their hard work and dedication in putting the measures and controls in place to allow the number of fixtures to be played to date, and recognise that this hard work will enable us to get back up and running as soon as we are allowed to do so.
“Our main aim remains to ensure that the 2020-21 season is completed, and we will continue to liaise with the County Football Association to provide support and establish appropriate options to do so.”
Penrith AFC’s Northern League season is also now on hold. League chairman Glenn Youngman said: “While not a surprise, it’s obviously disappointing news that our league is to be suspended for a month.
“We hope that the league can resume as quickly as possible after the national lockdown is lifted.
“In the meantime I would like to thank everyone associated with our clubs for all the work they have put in to make our games as safe as possible.
“I’d also like to thank spectators for their patience in what are very difficult circumstances for everyone.”