FAI permission for leagues to return to winter season

Story by Conall Collier

Thursday, 16th May, 2019 9:23pm

FAI permission for leagues to return to winter season

Could a return to a winter season be on the cards.

Could this be the opening some administrators are seeking for a return to winter football?

It's another statement today issued by the FAI - not about budgets and finances for a change - but about calendat year soccer at under-age level.

Here is the statement so make up your own mind about what it actually means.

It's a joint-statement from the Football Association of Ireland and Schoolboys / girls Football Association of Ireland.

The FAI and the SFAI note recent views raised by underage leagues in relation to the calendar season element of the Player Development Plan. 

The FAI’s PDP consists of 10 principles - principles 1-9 continue to be FAI Board approved policy going forward. 

Principle 10 is focused on the continuity of football and the most appropriate calendar in which to achieve same.

The Board of the FAI is aware that a number of SFAI affiliate leagues have had difficulty implementing trophy football in the calendar season and feel their leagues would be better equipped to deliver trophy football by following the winter season in line with the school calendar.

Following discussions between the FAI and the SFAI, the Board of the FAI has agreed the following:

Any under-age league currently playing in the calendar season or about to implement calendar season football may continue to do so

Those leagues currently playing in calendar season that have faced serious challenges may consider a return to the winter season

Leagues currently playing in the winter season may continue to do so

SFAI competitions will remain in their current format

The FAI, in conjunction with the SFAI, are establishing a Committee to look into this particular matter and are aware that any change may pose challenges as the non-alignment of the Schoolboy season with the National League season can lead to difficulties for various stakeholders.

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