Statement: COVID-19 (20/03/2020)

International Surrey Football continues to monitor the impact COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is having on the world around us. The safety and well being of all players, team staff and supporters is the most paramount consideration for any team at this moment while considering what actions to undertake as football takes a backseat to this public health crisis.

On Monday 16th March the UK government announced its latest advice concerning COVID-19. Among other things, this recommended against all non-essential contact and travel. As a result, all football in Surrey organised under the scope of the Surrey FA has been suspended for an unspecified period of time. While the professional game in England had targetted a return this weekend, it has become clear that such a resumption of the game, especially those involving fan attendance, has become increasingly unlikely.

On Thursday 19th March the UK updated its forecasts and suggested that COVID-19 may not be in the decline for potentially 12 weeks, leading up to the 12th June.

On Tuesday 31st March ConIFA are expected to hold their own meeting to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the World Football Cup, due to be held in North Macedonia. It is unclear at this stage when football will formally return, and whether all levels of football, or just professional levels, may be able to complete the 2019/20 season, or whether the season will be formally cancelled.

While it remains unclear what the future may hold, International Surrey Football has made a number of decisions regarding all activities.

International Surrey Football has decided with immediate effect that the Southern Frontier Cup will be postponed until the summer of 2021, all 3 invited teams (Cascadia, Parishes of Jersey and Yorkshire) have been automatically invited to the rescheduled event. Exact dates will be confirmed, with the intention that the tournament will still take place at Whyteleafe Football Club at a similar time of year, between the Muratti Vase and whichever ConIFA tournament may be played, full details will be confirmed when available at a later date.

All fans that have purchased tickets for the tournament will be issued an automatic refund, which will be processed this weekend, please allow a further 5 days for refunds to be issued by Eventbrite. Sponsors may keep their sponsorship for their rearranged fixtures or may get in contact to request a cancellation.

Our planned charity match against a Hampshire XI, due to be held at Farnham Town Football Club, will also be suspended and rescheduled at a later date in 2020, details to be confirmed. However, a charity donation of £100 each to, Crohn’s & Colitis UK and St. Catherine’s Hospice, will be made in the meantime.

Surrey’s plans for a women’s trial game in April will also be suspended until further notice, as well as the planned marketing day to prepare for the official launch of the team’s new home kit. International Surrey Football will also suspend its search for a Commercial Director until further notice with all interviews currently on hold.

International Surrey Football will largely limit its activities during April while we continuously assess the situation, content will still be provided where possible on social media. In May we will reassess the situation in regards to COVID-19 and will consider the potential to play friendly fixtures should the non-league season remain suspended. This will be done for player well-being and fitness, but also to provide clubs with a potential financial income during this time, as well as providing opportunities to support local businesses and charities where possible. It is not clear what stance we will take in regard to supporter attendance.

Details will be arranged when available, and plans for fixtures will include both our senior men and women’s teams. Interested non-FIFA teams operating in the South-East, are encouraged to get in contact to discuss interest, and splitting costs, with opposition places being on a first come first serve basis.

Clubs that may be interested in hosting can also get in contact with us to discuss the potential for games.

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