Guernsey FA Response to COVID-19
Following the media release issued by the States of Guernsey on Friday 13th March in which, the Director of Public Health has requested that Islanders start social distancing, the Guernsey FA has taken proactive measures to support this request in working with various partners to suspend all affiliated football in the island.
The States of Guernsey media release can be found here; https://www.gov.gg/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=123953&p=0
Whilst the English Football Association (FA) remains unchanged in that grassroots football has not been suspended, the GFA must be mindful that whilst football in Guernsey falls under the jurisdiction of the FA, the island is locally governed and is following its own path in attempting to combat COVID-19.
On this basis, the Guernsey FA has taken the necessary and responsible decision to suspend all GFA led activity and delivery programmes. This includes the following:
- GFA Aztec Foundation Academy
- GFA Louvre Development Academy
- Focus Sessions and Goalkeeper Academy
- Representative football
- Girls Academy
- Girls Junior Academy
- Girls Player Development Centre
- Wildcat Centres
- Soccer School
Over the course of the previous weekend, Guernsey Football League Management and the local clubs followed the GFA recommendation in suspending all local football based on the request for islanders to begin social distancing. Whilst there has not yet been a directive to suspend sporting activity in the island, the GFA recognises that we all have a social responsibility at this time, with the health and well-being of the community being a priority.
Guernsey FA Chief Executive, Gary Roberts, commented that:
“It is regrettable that the decision has been taken to suspend all GFA led activity, along with GFLM and club football. However, following the decision by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare a COVID-19 Pandemic, and the recommendation by the Director of Public Health in Guernsey advising all Guernsey residents to consider social distancing, this was the most prudent course of action. Football, is the largest participant and spectator sport in Guernsey and, like all sport, is a significant part of our communities. These decisions have not been taken lightly but the situation we currently face is unprecedented and the GFA recognises that there is a social responsibility to place the health and well-being of our community at the forefront of any decision making.”
The GFA will continue to provide updates via the website and social media as they become available and in the meantime would recommend that everybody continues to monitor the States of Guernsey website for local updates.