Update on grassroots football

We have issued new guidance following the latest Government announcement

Following the recent Government update, grassroots football remains suspended.


In line with this guidance, although grassroots football is suspended on the whole, 1-1 coaching between over 18s is allowed with social distancing.


However The FA has confirmed that any 1-1 coaching between an adult and an U18 contravenes safeguarding regulations and is not permitted.


Updates will be provided once we receive further guidance from the Government and Public Health England.


Please click here to read The FA's guidance and see our letter to clubs below:


Dear Club Secretary,

I thought I would write to you to provide a brief update on the suspension of football, and to say thank you for your continued support and work during these very difficult times.


Football is still suspended, and despite the lifting of some restrictions on other individual sports, football and all other team sports are still prohibited as per Government guidelines.


Government guidelines do now allow one-on-one training/coaching in outdoor areas. However, this must only be done between two adults aged 18 or over. A Coach aged over-18 should not coach a player aged under 18 due to FA Safeguarding Guidelines to protect both coaches and players.


The same applies if the scenario is reversed and the coach is aged under 18 and the player is aged over 18. If a guardian was present for one-on-one coaching, this would make the gathering greater than two people so would be prohibited under current Government guidance.


The FA has now set-up a Return to Grassroots Project Group to plan a timeline of when Grassroots football can return. They are working with Government, Sport England and other team sport National Governing Bodies to attempt to work consistently across the sport sector. As updates are shared with County FA’s, we will share information with you.


As the Project Group has just formed there is no information or proposed timelines to share at this time. At Northumberland FA, we are trying to support local clubs to be as best prepared as possible for when football does commence. We are setting up Hive learning groups and scheduling in role specific webinars for coaches and Club Welfare Officers.


As these will be done by invitation through Whole Game System Data, it would be really helpful if you could check that your records are up to date with the correct information listed on WGS for your active coaches and CWO’s. Please continue to contact us with issues arising. Our Survey on the impact of Covid-19 on football in our county received a high level of response, and the information provided has already proved helpful. I


n addition, we are aware of some excellent community work football clubs have been carrying out to support others. It would be brilliant if you could share your own examples with us so we can shine a spotlight on not only your club, but the value of football to the community and region as a whole.


Best wishes, David Jones

Head of Participation Northumberland FA