Following a meeting on Friday, the East Midlands Women’s League has decided not to return to football until after Christmas.
Commenting on this, manager Dale Houlston told us: “We thought about this a lot, coming back from lockdown to play football for what is just two games before Christmas, and without supporters. It’s been a rubbish year with Covid, and Christmas and the festive season gives people something finally to enjoy and look forward to.
“We do not feel comfortable in returning to football before Christmas, since we would not like any of our players to risk a Covid related issue occurring as a result of a football event, which then risks ruining Christmas, both for them and their family. And all that risk just for the sake of returning for a couple of fixtures between now and the New Year. So we voted not to play again until January.”
Dale continued: “We will return after Christmas, maybe with infection rates lower, perhaps in a lower Covid tier, and better still hopefully with the vaccine rolled out to many of the vulnerable.
“The league was all set to commence again this week, but I questioned the sense in this at the online meeting on Friday night. I wasn’t being disrespectful to other clubs who do wish to start back straight away.
“It was pleasing that once we asked the question, other clubs were on the same page as us too. So a vote was held and a large majority of clubs feel the same way.
"So the league have suspended all games in December. It’s just a couple of games to catch up with, on top of the ones to be rearranged from lockdown. We will catch up, and hopefully at a time in the New Year when the Covid landscape is improving, especially with the arrival of vaccines.
“In the meantime, I hope everyone has a super safe Christmas, and I look forward to seeing supporters in the New Year. Let’s hope a much improved New Year, where the aim of my players and I is to give them some entertaining football once again”.