Domestic football in Wales suspended until January due to fan limits

Football in Wales over the festive period has been postponed following a decision to ban spectators in grounds due to the rise of the Omicron variant.

tns
tns

Earlier this week the Welsh Government decided that action was needed to curb rising infection rates - and now, after updated guidance stating only 50 fans would be allowed in sporting venues - the FAW has made the decision to suspend domestic football in the country until January 9.

In a lengthy statement, the FAW confirmed the National League Board has made the decision because of the 'significant financial loss' clubs will incur due to severely restricted gates.

The statement read: "The FAW National League Board has taken the decision to suspend the Cymru Leagues, Adran Leagues and Ardal Leagues, following today's (22 December) Welsh Government announcement that team sports are limited to 50 spectators due to the rise of the omicron variant of COVID-19.

"The decision was taken following consultation with the leagues and the clubs who had fixtures scheduled over the festive period.

"Ahead of the 2021/22 season, the FAW factored a COVID-19 related disruption into its planning with some leagues starting their seasons earlier than normal to counteract such an impact.

"The FAW acknowledges the significant loss of income that clubs in the above-mentioned leagues will incur should they be unable to accommodate more than 50 spectators at their matches, in addition to the extreme disappointment of fans being unable to support their clubs should games be played behind closed doors.

"To limit the loss of income and to provide the best chance for fans not to miss out on supporting their clubs, the National League Board felt the suspension of the competitions over the festive period was in the best interest of the game."

It comes after Cymru Premier clubs met on Tuesday evening to discuss the fallout of the new Government restrictions.

Although clubs will now be saved from a financial outlay with games suspended - clubs in Wales do rely on bumper Christmas gates to help them with their income.

It means TNS' double header with Cefn Druids and Newtown's clashes with Cardiff Met will have to be rearranged.

The FAW has said the suspension will run until January 9 with a review taking place on the situation.

The association added: "The National League Board will communicate with the Area Associations so that they can make an informed decision about the leagues and competitions under their remit.

"The Welsh Government has informed sports governing bodies that their coronavirus regulations, including playing sports behind closed doors, will be reviewed regularly. Therefore, the National League Board will continue to monitor the situation and currently plans to review its decision on the suspensions of the leagues on or prior to 9 January 2022.

"The FAW would like to reiterate the importance of people receiving two doses of the COVID-19 vaccination and the booster vaccine."

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