Following last night’s announcement by Taoiseach Michael Martin that the whole country will be moving to level 3 restrictions in the ‘living with Covid-19’ plan, all soccer matches will be suspended for a period of at least three weeks.
The announcement was largely expected since NPHET advised that the Government impose Level 5 restrictions on the whole country on Sunday night. The Government rejected the advice and instead have imposed Level 3 restrictions on the whole country.
Earlier on Monday, the GAA had announced the suspension of all matches in a statement which appeared to criticise the actions of supporters and clubs involved in the club championships across the country. Videos and coverage of celebrations emerged where social distancing was not taking place.
Under the new restrictions, all Limerick District League and Desmond League games will be suspended with immediate effect. There has been no official statement from the FAI on the matter as of yet but either will have no choice but to comply.
It is a body blow for both Limerick leagues as the District League now runs the risk of failing to finish two seasons due to the ongoing pandemic. The LDMC took the decision to cancel the 2019/2020 season as there were a large volume of games left to play and there was huge uncertainty about the possibility of a return.
Now, with most clubs getting through seven or eight matches, the future looks very uncertain as we head into the long winter months. The Limerick Desmond League officials will be disappointed with last night’s announcement as they had just started their league campaign last weekend after seven months out.
On the positive side, clubs can still train in groups with a maximum of 15 people which would include a manager and 14 players. However, with the lack of games to take place, many clubs will have differing attitudes on the right way forward with the increase in Covid cases also.