Non-Elite Football Statement - 3 November 2020

The FA has provided an update for ‘non-elite’ football in England between 5 November 2020 and 2 December 2020.

03/11/2020 - The Football Association [The FA], working with london fa, has provided an update for ‘non-elite’ football in England following the UK Government’s announcement on new national Covid-19 restrictions that will be in place from Thursday 5 November 2020 until Wednesday 2 December 2020.

As a result of the UK Government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions, and subject to Members of Parliament voting tomorrow [Wednesday 4 November 2020] and the publication of bespoke guidance from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport [DCMS], the impact on ‘non elite’ football in England will include the suspension of the following during this period:

  • All fixtures and training for Steps 3-6 of the National League System [NLS];

  • All fixtures and training for Tiers 3-7 of the Women’s Football Pyramid [WFP];

  • All fixtures and training for the Regional NLS Feeder Leagues;

  • All fixtures and training for The Barclays FA WSL Academy League;

  • All fixtures and training for FA Girls Regional Talent Clubs;

  • All fixtures and training for indoor and outdoor youth and adult grassroots football.

We can assure you that The FA’s aim is to ensure that the 2020/21 season is completed at these levels and they are liaising with the relevant leagues in the NLS and WFP and London FA to provide support and establish appropriate options to do so if required.

The UK Government has confirmed that school sport can continue as an exemption during this period.

In addition, the UK Government has confirmed that all Emirates FA Cup First Round fixtures will go ahead as planned this weekend between Friday 6 and Monday 9 November 2020. The ten ‘non-elite’ clubs that remain in the competition will be able to play their fixtures under ‘elite’ protocols. In line with the new national Covid-19 restrictions, these ‘non-elite’ teams are only permitted to train together until Wednesday 4 November 2020.

Further updates on fixtures and dates for the 2020/21 Vitality Women’s FA Cup, The FA Youth Cup, Buildbase FA Trophy and Buildbase FA Vase will follow in due course.

We recognise that re-starting football at these levels has taken substantial determination and commitment from stakeholders across the game and London FA and The FA would like to thank everyone for their vital contributions. However, health and wellbeing remain the priority, so it is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers and facility providers adhere to the UK Government’s new national Covid-19 restrictions during this period.

The FA and London FA remains in dialogue with the DCMS, leagues, competitions and together we will provide further clarification for ‘non-elite’ football in England following the debate in the House of Commons tomorrow.


1. What is The FA’s safeguarding position on one-to- one coaching for under 18s?
One-to-one coaching for under 18s is not allowed as there must always be at least 2 DBS-checked people present and supervising.

2. Can schools football outside of a school setting at the weekend still take place (i.e. school district teams, County Schools Association representative teams)?
The UK Government has confirmed that while school sport can continue, no grassroots sport can take place outside of the school setting during the lockdown period.

3. Can education programmes run at colleges in partnership with club academies still deliver the football elements?
We are waiting for the Department for Education to publish its guidance to confirm this point.

4. Is there an exemption for 16-18-year olds in college and university to play football?
At present the UK Government has not confirmed any exemption for college or university students to allow them to play football. If there are any further developments or changes to the UK Government’s position, we will update our statement accordingly.

5. Can football facilities stay open?
To reduce social contact, the UK Government has ordered certain businesses and venues to close. These include indoor and outdoor sports facilities.

6. I’m booked onto a London FA coach education course, does this affect me too?
Yes, following this announcement we regret to confirm that all coach education courses must also be suspended during this period. London FA will be in touch directly with learners about rescheduled course dates and will seek to automatically transfer learners onto the next available course. Whilst the lockdown is currently for a period of 4 weeks, we do need to take in consideration that this could be extended. Therefore, courses may not be rescheduled until 2021. If you have any questions regarding this, please email