Kent County League suspend all fixtures until Saturday 9 January 2021

Wednesday 02nd December 2020

Kent County League chairman Gavin Hoare has issued the following statement:

“Thank you for your patience in this most difficult of times. We would like to make it very clear that the past four days have seen more meetings and studying of guidance than at any other time.

The Kent FA asked all leagues to hold off making any final decisions until after the FA had issued Guidance for grass roots football. We agreed to do this and have taken the time to consider every possible angle we could think of.

The number one priority must be to protect the safety of everyone connected with the League. That said, taking a watching brief on comments made over several social media outlets, you can clearly see that there is no consensus amongst all those in the game.

Having considered all the guidance offered and talking with other bodies, the League has concluded the following: All League Fixtures will be suspended until 9 January.

During this time the fixture secretary will look at the possibility of teams playing games for the first couple of weeks in January within their local area of the county where possible and within their own Tier. Until such time that Kent is removed from Tier Three, the fixture schedule will be greatly affected.

Players who live in Kent (Tier Three) but play for a team whose home ground is in Tier Two, shouldn’t travel outside of their area for grassroots football and therefore shouldn’t play and the same is vice versa, should a player live in Tier Two, they should not travel to Tier Three to play a fixture, it would be irresponsible with the current level of cases in Kent to encourage this. We are also concerned we would be expecting teams to travel from low prevalence areas in Kent, to those with more cases. In addition, this impacts on our referees.

Should Kent remain in Tier Three beyond any restart and should clubs feel this has an impact on them, they should apply to the League for a suspension of fixtures.

The ability to start again, very much depends on the government reviews on 16 and 30 December respectively when we hopefully see improvement within Kent & Medway. An update will be provided after the first review on 16 December.

There is no decision we could make that would keep everyone happy, but we have taken the time to consider every option and to take stock of what clubs have done up to this point. Local Leagues have a different set of problems to those of us that are county wide, (with the exception of Leagues close to tier borders).

Whilst it may be possible to get a limited amount of games played, is it fair to all clubs to allow the league to get too fragmented where some teams may be several games ahead than those that cannot get games played? We also have to consider what referees are available and where we can send them.

The League will call a meeting of all clubs for Thursday 7 January for further updates and a Q&A session. Details will follow. Please ensure one person from your club is available to attend.

This must be the most difficult of all times for us all and all officers of the League have thought carefully over what is best for the league as a whole. We will continue to monitor the situation on an almost daily basis and will keep in regular contact with all clubs as and when we have updates.

It is now my intention to stand down all league officers for the Christmas break to spend some quality time with their families between the 21 December and the 3 January 2021.

Please take this time to be with your families and stay safe.”

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