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Survey: Some Mayo soccer players unsure about return


Ger Flanagan

OVER 85 percent of Mayo League players are planning on returning to competitive football when the FAI gives the green light for the domestic leagues in the weeks and months ahead.
That’s according to a Mayo News survey which was conducted last week among over 200 players from each club in the Mayo Football League’s Super League and Premier Division, in the wake of the FAI’s ‘Safer Return to Training Protocol’ document released on June 8.
However, the survey also shows that just over ten percent of players are still ‘Unsure’ of returning to play competitive matches in light of Covid-19, whilst just under three percent say they will not be returning in 2020.
A total of 207 responses to the survey were received by midnight on Sunday, June 14.
The Mayo News ‘Return to Play’ survey asked Super League and Premier League players two questions.
1) Will you return to training with your club as per FAI protocol which states teams can resume training on June 15?
A total of 169 players (81.64 percent) of players answered ‘Yes’, with 14 (6.76 percent) of players answering ‘No’, while 24 (11.59 percent) of players answered ‘Unsure’.
2) If they were planning to return to competitive football matches with their club in 2020?
From the 207 responses, 179 players (86.47 percent) said ‘Yes’, indicating they will return to competitive matches in 2020. A total of 22 players (10.63 percent) answered ‘Unsure’, and six (2.9 percent) answered ‘No’ to returning to play in 2020.
According to the FAI’s ‘Safer Return to Training Protocol’ document, all adult amateur and underage football clubs can return to training as of Monday, June 15.
It stated that all clubs must appoint a Covid-19 Compliance Officer and carry out a risk assessment before any return.
Subject to Government guidelines, no matches – competitive or friendly - are allowed until further notice under the jurisdiction of the FAI.
For adult training, no more than 15 people (14 players and minimum one coach) can train at one stage, whilst the same applies to underage footballers, with 13 players and a minimum of two coaches.
Contact in-training sessions must be kept to a minimum, with no handling of the ball, other than the goalkeeper allowed. There is no throw-ins allowed, no corner kicks, free kicks or hand-to-hand contact (handshakes, fist pumping). No spitting is allowed.
The FAI is planning on reviewing the ‘Cessation of Football’ deadline around matches in the coming weeks.

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