2020/21 IFA League Season – Restart Date & Covid-19 Update

We are now in a position where we can announce that the IFA League will restart, subject to any changes to government guidance relating to grassroots sports, on the weekend commencing 3rd October 2020, with the season ending on Saturday 26th June 2021.

The safety and well-being of our participants and their families remains our main priority at this time. With fans being allowed back to stadia in limited numbers and away fans not permitted for the foreseeable future, we have temporary amendments to all of the IFA Rules which are detailed below.

We are also issuing guidance to teams which must be followed for the safety and well-being of all involved from both sides which includes procedures relating to Test & Trace protocols. We cannot stress how important this is and will be looking for a confirmation that these Covid-19 Code of Behaviour has been understood and will be followed.

The Code of Behaviour will be held within the IFA Website until a future date when they are no longer required.

IFA Covid-19 Code of Behaviour

  1. The IFA is co-operating with the NHS Test & Trace system and requires Team Organisers to acquire details of all individuals present at the match. Team Organisers must hold the name and contact number of all present, including team managers and supporters from their own team in line with Test & Trace procedures. Personal details must not be swapped between the two teams and must be held by Team Organisers only. An example of such form is available here
  2. Should any individual receive a positive test result, they must immediately inform their relevant Team Organiser. The Team Organiser must then ensure they inform all present at the fixture, including the opposition Team Organiser. All individuals must then follow relevant Government advice under the Test & Trace protocol in the event of a positive test, including self-isolation.
    Team Organisers must also inform the IFA Committee in any situations of a positive Covid-19 test within a team.
  3. All individuals taking part or supporting IFA football are responsible for their own health. Please act in ways that protect your own health and the health of others and avoid acting in a way that might risk the health of fellow players and/or other individuals. All individuals must know these Covid-19 Specific Rules and be aware of all applicable Government guidance and be respectful and understanding to others.
  4. Do not attend any IFA football activity if you have any COVID-19 Symptoms listed by the NHS at the link here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms
  5. In the event any participant develops COVID-19 symptoms whilst taking part in any IFA football activity, please notify your Team Organiser immediately, and you will be asked to leave at the earliest possible opportunity and encouraged to book a COVID-19 antigen test as soon as possible.
  6. All participants must adhere to Social Distancing in-line with current government guidance before the fixture and during any breaks in play.
  7. Due to the nature of our organisation, teams will often have to travel to opposition venues. When travelling to fixtures, we strongly advise that all individuals travel separately, and where not possible, all individuals must wear a face covering whilst travelling in a shared vehicle.
  8. Due to restrictions at various venues, changing facilities should automatically be considered unavailable due to the current Covid-19 situation. 
    It is the responsibility of the home organiser to ensure that this is communicated clearly to their opposite number in the lead-up to a game, and the decision whether to play a fixture without changing rooms or other facilities must be mutually agreed before a fixture is even considered. This rule is underpinned by the Communication Rule (Rule 2) in the IFA General Rules and the IFA Spirit.
  9. Players should arrive ready at the venue and any kit distribution be held pitch side and under Social Distancing guidance.
  10. If applicable, any venue specific Covid-19 guidance must be sent by the Home Team Organiser to the opposition at least 72 hours before a fixture is due to commence.

Covid Related Rule Amendments

All IFA Rule Amendments will be included within the relevant IFA Rules. Any amendment will be shown in italics on the IFA Rules and be called a Covid Amendment Rule (CAR).

New season – Rules and Registration

As previously posted, in preparation for the new season, registration is now open at the link below.

IFA Team Registration

The IFA rules have also been updated and team managers attention is drawn to the following major changes;

Rule 2 – Communication

Formerly rule 10, we have made this rule and our expectations of team managers/organisers much clearer.

Rule 4 – Reporting of matches

With the long-standing yahoo group being slowly withdrawn, we’ve created online forms which will be hosted on the IFA website, for reporting fixtures and results. Links are below and we encourage all managers/organisers to send some test entries ahead of the season starting.

IFA Fixture Announcement

IFA Result Announcement

Rule 7 – Referees and Officials
Rule 8 – Discipline

Following a number of disciplinary issues during the 2019/20 season, both rules have been re-written, placing the emphasis on team managers/organisers to be responsible for player discipline. 

Rule 11 – Game Cancellations

Again, the committee has reviewed and amended this rule based on issues during the 2019/20 season. The results form will also be utilised for game cancellations

Team managers/organisers are asked to ensure that they have read the full rules before completing the registration form and that ALL players are made aware of the IFA rules and the IFA spirit.

Finally, we look forward to welcoming you back to the IFA League community safely. We appreciate your ongoing support to enable us all to safely resume our participation in the sport we all love, and ask you follow us on all social media platforms to enable us to communicate any new advice as quickly as possible during these unprecedented times.

Thanks
The IFA Committee

For full details of who’s who on the committee, please see the link below;
http://www.internetfootball.org.uk/ifa-stats/ifa-committee/