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Football after 9th November

At this stage we have not received any information from either the FA of Wales or the Welsh Government as to what activities will be permitted for football clubs from 9 November.

We will need to hear what will be permissible by the Welsh Government, particularly with regard to the 30-person limit; what the attitude of local authorities will be with regard to facilities under their control and the protocols required from the FA of Wales. I am hopeful we will get that information before 9 November to allow a smooth restart to some sort of football activity.

As soon as the SWFA have anything tangible, the SWFA will share it with Leagues.

FAW FAQ’s on Friendlies





If a player is in a class at school that has been sent home to self-isolate, can he still play football.

No, if a player is required to self-isolate then he is unable to train or play football at his club.


30-person limit


If there are multiple 11 a-side pitches at a venue (eg Sully) can all pitches be in use?


Yes, they can as the guidance is issued for 30 players on a playing area. A different group of players

can use another playing area at the same facility. There has to be

consideration for car parking facilities as sites usually only have one car park so match

times need to be staggered so that drop-off and pick-up are at differing times to reduce the

amount of parents/players in the car park. We would advise staggering kick off times where more than 1 match is taking place at a venue. This could be done in waves so small groups of matches have different arrival and kick off times to others or each match could have a slightly different arrival and kick off time.


Some raised concerns about the number of parents potentially remaining in the car park outside

of their cars – who’s responsibility is this?


This is not the responsibility of the league or club, it is up to the parents to act responsibility to maintain social distancing if they decide to remain within the wider facility area.


In a bubble

After coaching a small-sided team in the morning, can that coach go and play football himself in

the afternoon? Similarly, could that small-sided coach, coach a senior team later in the afternoon?

Can a referee officiate more than one game in a day? i.e. U12 at 10am and then a senior game at

2pm on Saturday?


We have raised this issue with Welsh Government consistently and at this stage, their guidance is

that coaches, first aiders, team helpers and officials can only be involved with 1 match per day as

government guidelines only permit having contact with 1 ‘bubble’ of 30 per day to limit contact with

other individuals.


Supporters / spectators / passers-by


Who is ultimately responsible for supporters if they don’t move from the pitch side?


The club have a responsibility to share the guidelines related to spectators with parents, there is a

specific section related to parent responsibilities within the protocol document. Confirmation that

they have shared this information with parents is done via the club checklist. Clubs are responsible

for asking parents to respect the guidelines set, however ultimately it’s the parent or supporters

responsibility to act in accordance with the guidelines.


Is there a statement we can provide to clubs detailing what they are responsible for and that

members of public passing by and watching are not part of the 30 person limited and ultimately

not the responsibility of the club if they have done everything that is asked of them.


The below statement is available on our FAQs document and has been shared with Club COVID-19

Officers. Leagues are welcome to share the below statement again with clubs to reiterate the



The decision on not allowing spectators to watch matches pitch-side is a Welsh Government guideline

not an FAW decision. Welsh Government guidelines do not permit a group of spectators to watch a

match pitch-side outside of the 30-person number participating within the organised activity. This is in

line with the protocols we have issued for both phase 1 and 2. We have asked for this to be reviewed

by Welsh Government to allow spectators to attend in a separate ‘bubble’ of up to 30 in a designated


Within current Welsh Government guidelines, a caveat is issued for spectators in that they are

permitted to attend if there is a health or safeguarding reason for them to be present. Unfortunately,

there isn’t a criteria outlined for what would constitute a valid safeguarding or health reason. With

regards to this matter, we would urge that a significant degree of common sense is applied. For

example, we have received a number of queries relating to young children being left on their own and

feel that if a child or parent is concerned about being left on their own there is a justified safeguarding

reason for a parent to be present.

In terms of clubs being able to police this matter; we recognise this will be difficult for clubs however

as the governing body we have to be issuing advice in line with current government guidance. Again,

we would advise that common sense is applied, parents cannot be present pitch-side but can remain

within the wider facility area, e.g. club car park or away from the pitch at a public park, after they have

dropped their child at the designated drop off area to meet their club coach. Clubs should include this

within their risk assessment to ask parents/ guardians to be respectful of the guidelines regarding

spectators not being permitted pitch-side. Outside of this, it is up to the parents to act responsibility to

maintain social distancing if they decide to remain within the wider facility area.

Large crowds gathering around pitches across the country could significantly impact our ability to

progress the return of football at all levels as well as contribute to the transmission of the virus. As a

result, we must ensure we all act responsibly to protect each other, our clubs and the game as a whole.


Can clubs/leagues set-up observation areas for parents? If so, how far from the pitch could these

be, how big an area would be required, and how many parents could be contained in this marked

off area?


We should not set out marked areas for parents to observe matches from as we fear this would

encourage people to spectate on matches which at this stage, directly contradicts government



Toilet facility

Is it a mandatory requirement that there must be a toilet facility available? (If so, is this for all age



Based on government guidance related to the delivery of outdoor organized sports activity toilets

will need to be opened pre-match, during the match and for 30 minutes following the match. Toilets

should be cleaned regularly in line with the information provided in the relevant section “keeping

facilities clean” in the Welsh Government guidance for sports, clubs and facilities, and capacity

should be managed via entry and exit and to allow for the 2m physical distancing to be maintained.


If LAs or facility providers aren’t providing this service then please contact one of our Regional

Football Development Managers in order for us to raise the issue with the respective provider as

they are going against government guidelines in not providing this service.


No changing rooms should be used – players should arrive in training or playing kit. Exemptions may

be made where safety and safeguarding measures require their use.


Additional persons allowed pitch side


Leagues wanted clarity regarding who could remain in addition to the 30-person limit – parents

who have children with asthma for example? Or all parents of 6-8 year olds with the children

being so young, etc


Welsh Government have not issued a set criteria for whatwould constitute a valid health or safeguarding reason. In the absence of such a criteria we would advise that the following would be permitted under this guideline:


Parents/Guardians would be able to view a match from the sidelines


If they or a child is concern ed about being left on their own, particularly if they are a very young

child or new to a team or club


If there is a medical condition that a club has been made aware that would mean it was

advisable that a parent/guardian was present pitch-side to support the club


If there is a welfare reason that a club a club has been made aware for a parent/guardian to

be present pitch-side


Local lockdown

Is a player allowed to train and play friendly matches for Club A who are based in his/her local

authority area if they are unregistered?


Yes, if a Player is not registered with the Association or any other national association to play for a

club, then he/she may play as a Trialist for any Club in: (a) Open Friendly Matches if such matches

are played either during the close season and/or before that Club’s first Official Match during the

Playing Season; and/or (b) any Closed Friendly Match. However, since the player is not registered, he

/ she would not be covered by FAW Personal Accident Insurance in the event he/she suffers a loss

during training or playing friendly matches for Club A.


A player plays for Club A who are based in Cardiff. However, the player lives in the Vale of

Glamorgan and is therefore unable to travel to train with or playing in matches for Club A. Is the

player therefore allowed to train with and play friendly matches for Club B who are based in the

Vale of Glamorgan area? This would then allow the play the opportunity to continue to play

football during local lockdown restrictions.


With the permission of their registered Club (Club A), they could play as a Trialist for a different Club

in: (a) Open Friendly Matches if those matches are played during the close season and/or before

that Club’s first Official Match during the Playing Season; and/or (b) any Closed Friendly Match. Also,

since the FAW Personal Accident Insurance is player related, then the player would be insured to

play for Club B provided he/she remains registered with a Club on COMET.


Welsh Government

What is FAW doing to lobby Welsh Government over the issues of local lockdowns, spectators and

the 30-person limit?


We are in weekly contact with Welsh Government officials regarding these issues and are continually

lobbying for guidance to be amended on these issues. We are aware of the impact that these

restrictions are causing leagues, clubs, coaches, players and parent and are highlighting these at a

government level to try and influence change. Welsh Government are fully aware of our return to

football plans and are supportive of our approach as we work within current guidelines. We hope

there will be easing of restrictions placed on the issue of local lockdowns, spectators and number of

persons permitted to take part in organised activity however this is dependent on the spread of the

virus and whether government are able to announce any easing of restrictions rather than imposing

new ones.

Mini and Junior Friendlies update

As per SWFA

Mini and Junior clubs are not to have friendlies sanctioned unless they have complied with the club accreditation process, all clubs must also be SWFA affiliated to be allowed to play.

Any teams that had been given permission will now have that rescinded. Any teams that do not comply will be reported to SWFA. Clubs that hadn’t completed their accreditation were notified yesterday and will be considered as unaccredited until the next Comet update unless they can provide a screenshot from Comet showing their status.




You may be aware that we are already getting requests from clubs to arrange pre-season friendly matches. The latest FAW protocols released earlier this week advised that permissions for friendlies should be given by the relevant Leagues and that clubs should only play teams within their own locality.

To remind everyone, friendly matches are only permitted from the following dates

28 September – under 6 to under-11 under mini-football rules only

12 October – under-12 to under-16

19 October – all other groups

These dates are subject to change depending upon the current situation with COVID, lockdowns etc and that the clubs are fully compliant with FAW protocols.

Accordingly, we will adopt the following policy with requests for friendlies.

Requests received will be reviewed to ensure both the requesting club and their opponents are correctly affiliated and then referred to the League for approval. If either the requesting club or their opponents are not correctly affiliated then the request will be refused and the requesting club advised accordingly. It is suggested that Leagues use the following wording when granting approval.

Your request is approved subject to your club and your opponents complying with the FAW protocols for playing under COVID. It is also subject to there being no new restrictions being imposed either as a result of Welsh or UK Government, Local Authority or FA of Wales instructions.

If anyone has any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mark Adams
Hon General Secretary
South Wales Football Association

PHASE TWO 10/8/20

From Monday, 10 August clubs can train in groups of 15 and contact training can be re-introduced at all levels of the game as part of our phased return of football.

Group sizes: 15 (max. 14 players and min. 1 coach)

Total number of groups on a training area: 2

In line with Welsh Government guidelines, U11 players would not need to socially distance before and after training or during breaks. U12 players and above would still need to socially distance before and after training and during breaks.

Updated resources to reflect amended phase 2 protocols will be made available via

Matches are still not permitted to take place. Our phased return of football detailed in the Safer Return to Training protocol document identified that matches could not be played until phase 3 at the earliest, therefore our announcement that we can move to phase 2 is a positive step towards the return of football fixtures.

We continue to work with Welsh Government, Sport Wales and Welsh Sports Association and we hope to be able to announce the return of fixtures in the near future.