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FAI Press Release. 30th March

FAI notes Government green light for underage training return

The Football Association of Ireland notes confirmation from Government that underage football, Grassroots and League of Ireland, can return to non-contact training from April 26th, the first step on a phased return for football at all levels of the game.

Reacting to the announcement by Taoiseach Micheal Martin, FAI CEO Jonathan Hill has acknowledged the work of Government and its agencies to facilitate the return to training on April 26th, in pods of 15 for all underage players.

The CEO has also assured all amateur adult teams that this return for underage players is the first step towards a return to football for all grassroots players as Ireland eases out of lockdown.

“We obviously see this announcement from Government as a positive for all our underage players who have waited so patiently for the chance to play football again although, of course, we would have loved this to have been from April 5th but we note the realities of the current situation,” said Jonathan Hill.

“Non-contact training in pods of 15 represents the start of a return for our game that will see all our players at all ages permitted to train and then to play in what we hope will be the near future. This battle with COVID-19 has been so demanding for Irish society and our footballers have had to endure so much in Level 5 lockdown.

“We thank them for their perseverance and their patience. The adherence to the Government guidelines of our grassroots clubs, their volunteers, coaches, match officials and players, has been exemplary and to be applauded. Our adult amateur game will unfortunately need to continue to be patient as we await a return to training for them and of course playing matches, but our game has proven itself to be safe in a COVID-19 environment and I urge all clubs to maintain this as we return in the first instance to training for our younger players on April 26th.”

The FAI will now take the following steps in light of the Government update:

*We will update the FAI’s Safer Return to Training protocols for our underage teams and players.

*We will host a COVID-19 webinar for all Grassroots Leagues and affiliates on April 12th.

*We will follow this with regional workshops for Club COVID-19 Compliance Officers during which we will present and discuss our latest protocols in detail.

*We will review where we stand with all affiliates in relation to all Leagues and Competitions and agree next steps as soon as is possible.

*We will consult with the SFAI on the hosting of the Kennedy Cup and the Gaynor Cup tournaments later this year.

*We will consult with all Men’s and Women’s Underage National League clubs on their return to training schedule and next steps.


Dear Affiliates,

Firstly, I hope you all had a happy and healthy St. Patrick’s Day.

I am taking this opportunity to provide you with a brief update regarding our ongoing work to lead football at all levels to a Safer Return to Play. Having worked through all responses to our recent Grassroots financial survey, I am pleased to inform you that we are engaging with Government to outline our financial request to support Grassroots Affiliates, Leagues and Clubs. The information you have provided will be invaluable in helping us to assist you through these very difficult times.

As mentioned, when I met you all at our Grassroots Webinar earlier this month, we are fully committed to getting football back on the pitch at all levels of the game at the earliest possible opportunity. Our game is a critically important aspect of many people’s lives, and I am acutely aware of the fact that we all crave a roadmap and timeline for our Grassroots return, both to training and to matches. I will continue to engage with Sport Ireland and Government to make our case in this regard. In the meantime, we must of course continue to focus on public health measures and do all that we can to keep ourselves, and our families, neighbours, and friends safe.

The return of international football and League of Ireland in the coming weeks will, I hope, further strengthen our case that football is a safe game to play in current times and reinforce our appeal to get the game back at all levels and all ages.

Thank you again for your continued support and commitment to Irish football and I look forward to a brighter future with you all.

Kind regards,

Jonathan Hill, CEO of the FAI



FAI Coach Education courses

Please see below links for upcoming Regional Grassroots FAI Coach Education courses. Could you please share this with your club members who may be interested in upskilling themselves during this time.

If you have any queries in relation to the courses then please contact for further information.

PDP 1April 15th and 16th 6.30pm

FAI PDP 1 June 3rd and 4th 6.30pm

FAI PDP 2 February 25th and 26th 6.30pm

FAI PDP 2 March 25th and 26th 6.30pm

FAI PDP 2 April 22nd and 23rd 6.30pm


Due to the ongoing Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions in place for the rest of the month, the WDSL Committee have decided that the forthcoming season will begin when it safe to do so. We wish all clubs, players, coaches, parents and managers the very best in these uncertain times and hope to see you all at the pitches in the new year. Keep washing those hands!

FAI STATEMENT 31-12-2020


All football activity is suspended until January 31st with immediate effect - with the exception of senior SSE Airtricity League and senior Women’s National League teams who are exempt. In addition to this, please note the following:

The new Government Level 5 Guidelines DO NOT ALLOW for any collective team training for any team other than senior SSE Airtricity League or Women’s National League teams.

The new Government Level 5 Guidelines DO NOT ALLOW for any adult amateur, Futsal and underage football activity including the underage National Leagues and all schoolboy and schoolgirl football.

The new Government Level 5 Guidelines DO NOT ALLOW for any trials or assessments until further notice – with the exception of senior SSE Airtricity League and senior Women’s National League teams who are exempt subject to League guidelines.

The new Government Level 5 Guidelines allow for INDIVIDUAL training only

20/05/2019 23:41