There was a last-minute postponement for last nights FA Youth Cup tie between Basford United and West Bromwich Albion with all remaining games in the competition now suspended with fixtures potentially still to be re-arranged by the FA when it is safer to play them, following recent statistics of a worsening covid hike.
The decision was made by the FA yesterday afternoon, only hours before Basford’s youngsters were set to face Premier League opposition in what would have been one of the club’s biggest games in its history.
The match would have been played behind closed doors but subscriptions to watch a live stream had been sold to supporters although the club have announced a refund policy to any that purchased which will be in place today.
The FA stated following their decision that ‘the health and wellbeing of players and staff are of paramount importance’ as government officials predict even more testing times with a rise in further cases expected for next month, it is feared that this decision could be the first of more stoppages as elite football considers the dangers of continuing throughout the pandemic.
Currently minimal elite sport is still being played in the country with football flying its own flag to carry on but with a number of cases hitting major teams in recent weeks, forced postponements for the likes of Fulham, Manchester City, Aston Villa, who were reduced to playing a youth team themselves for their FA Cup match against Liverpool and Derby County, who were beaten by non-league Chorley after suffering an outbreak of covid within their own camp, have raised concerns that football is not doing enough to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Calls for the Premier League clubs to enter a secure bubble similar to that of the NBA in order to play games have been mentioned whilst some clubs in leagues lower that struggle for funding have signed a statement to request more finances from the government and FA to continue their season behind-closed doors.
Over the next few weeks it will be increasingly more likely that the FA will have to act on improving safety for footballers if asked to continue otherwise the government may take the matter into their own hands and suspend at any time they feel it would be appropriate.
We’ll bring you the news on any changes that effect our clubs as soon as we find out.
*Main image @basfordutd the third round of the FA Youth Cup was all set to be played at Greenwich Avenue.