Following today’s new measures to tackle the Coronavirus outbreak across the country, all sports activities will cease until at least April 19th in a bid to stop the spread.
Originally, the deadline had been set to March 29th but it was widely speculated well in advance of today’s announcement that the deadline would be extended by a month.
Last week, it was announced that the Airtricity League would not resume until mid-June, with Bohemians, Dundalk and Shelbourne stating that they will honour the contracts of players during this period. However, both Cork City and Sligo Rovers made it clear from an early stage that they would not be in a position to do this.
Today’s news coupled with the news that the Airtricity League will not resume until June, adds further doubt to the future of grassroots football in the country. In usual circumstances, the junior and schoolboy football leagues end in May at the latest with various cup finals taking place.
However, with up to ten league games remaining in all Limerick District Leagues as well as the extension of the return date, it looks highly unlikely that the season will re-commence.
All eyes will be on the FAI as players, coaches and supporters await further news in the coming weeks. The GAA have already cancelled the Ladies camogie and football seasons and the IRFU last week followed suit. It seems inevitable that soccer will follow the same pattern.