Sidmouth Town game OFF as coronavirus situation forces league to suspend football

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife

Honiton 2nds at home to East Budleigh. Ref mhsp 40-16TI 9156. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

The coronavirus situation has led to wholesale cancellation of football,

There will be no game for Sidmouth Town for at least the next two weeks after the the South West Peninsula League announced a suspension of all football for at least the next two weeks through until March 23.



Following extensive consultations all day and having sought advice where possible the league has been left to make its own decisions on whether to postpone games or insist that they be played. This has been incredibly hard to do as clearly some wish to continue playing, others clearly do not, and we have pressures to complete the season from many quarters. We are of course aware too that some leagues have postponed for the foreseeable future in Scotland & Wales, some to April 3rd/4th, the Southern League to March 22nd, and some have not postponed at all.

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Our decision is to postpone with immediate affect all games in the East, West & Walter C Parson Cup for the next 10 days, NO games will be played tomorrow (Sat 14th March), next midweek and next Saturday (21st March). Clubs are advised that fixtures MAY re-start on Monday 23rd March but that this will depend on advice at that time from both Govt and the FA. A decision on re-starting will be made in a weeks' time on Friday 20th March so that clubs fixtured from the 23rd March are aware. It is hoped that this window will allow more detailed advice to be sought, and also whether the FA will be granting any extension to the playing season. It should be noted that games postponed in the next 10 days will generally be re-fixtured for dates after the current end date of Saturday 25th April, but only the FA can sanction a seasons extension, so the fixturing should be regarded as provisional for the time being.

Lastly, the board wishes it to be known that in coming to this decision they have taken into account not just the national picture, but the local one too. We are aware of several volunteers self-isolating, a manager of a club and a referee all with suspected cases of covid19, in any event those clubs would have been granted a postponement under FA advice, it is also felt that the possible piecemeal way of some games being played and some called off would not be acceptable.

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Likewise, several clubs have very powerfully put over the message that they are concerned for the welfare of club officials and volunteers, many of whom are of an age or have underlying health concerns that mean football must become secondary.

The Bet Victor Southern League and the Toolstation Western League have done similar, but, as things stand, the Scott Richards Solicitors Devon League and the Macron Devon & Exeter League are both continuing.

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