Grassroots football set to be killed off by the coronavirus again

Grassroots football is in danger of failing to finish competitions for the second season in a row.
Mark Jones scores for Peterborough Sports against Basford United in the third round of the FA Trophy. Photo: James Richardson.Mark Jones scores for Peterborough Sports against Basford United in the third round of the FA Trophy. Photo: James Richardson.
Mark Jones scores for Peterborough Sports against Basford United in the third round of the FA Trophy. Photo: James Richardson.

The third lockdown caused by the Covid pandemic will be in force until the middle of February with only elite sports allowed to continue.

The Premier League, EFL and National Leagues will continue behind closed doors, but from step three down all football, including training, has been suspended.

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This affects teams in the Southern and Northern Premier Leagues, the United Counties League, the Peterborough & District League and all womens, youth and junior leagues.

Southern League side Peterborough Sports will be able to play their fourth round FA Trophy tie at Bath City on January 16, but that could be their last competitive match of the campaign.

Stamford AFC of the Northern Premier League are also due in FA Trophy action at home to Hereford a week on Saturday.

Sports chairman Grant Biddle said: “Unfortunately I don’t see another league game being played this season. No reason to think this won’t drag on until early April at the earliest and that is too late.”

Bizarrely Sports and Stamford are not even allowed to train ahead of their Trophy ties, but their opponents from a higher division can.