International Surrey Football is pleased to see today’s update from the UK Government allowing the return of grassroots sports from 11 July, initially only covering grassroots cricket. The latest announcement supports the return of grassroots sports by allowing different households to participate in training and competitive matches while ensuring the risks of transmitting Covid-19 are minimised.
Last month International Surrey Football internally prepared a return to play plan for allowing the resumption of Surrey fixtures played behind closed doors, known as our “Behind Closed Doors Fixture Plan”, which outlined the measures that would be undertaken by International Surrey Football and our opposition at any game played once a resumption of the sport was allowed, and included COVID-19 self-assessments by players, track and trace, the following of social distancing and cleaning measures outlined by the Government as a necessary requirement for any sport to return.
However, in the best interest of our players, coaches, staff and in good faith in regards to our relationship with the Surrey County FA, we will continue to wait for the FA’s own guidelines and make changes to our plans to reflect the FA-UK Government approved return to play plan.
While the Government’s statement today may allow the return of a limited number of fans to a game, with social distancing measures involved, for the foreseeable future Surrey fixtures will be held behind closed doors, but live streaming options will be made available, and details will be published when available. Details of how fans can financially support the games, such as donations and merchandise, including “tickets” and programmes, will be announced if a fixture is confirmed.
We know ours players are eager to return to play, but so are their clubs, and we will continue to give clubs first priority on the return to play, however, Surrey will be making investigations and discussions on any possible fixtures, with both our men and women’s teams available for games. In the event that a game is confirmed, there will be no publication of the venue until after the game has been held, to best limit the potential for attempted spectator attendance.
The Surrey men had 2 friendlies and the debut Southern Frontier Cup cancelled, while Surrey women had their trial fixture and a potential friendly cancelled due to COVID-19. Possible arrangements for a men’s friendly and women’s trial game will be investigated and any updates will be published on our website and social media.