Footballers spend new year just like they spent Christmas

Footballers across the area will spend new year just like they spent Christmas – sitting out the action.

Wednesday, 30th December 2020, 10:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 30th December 2020, 10:02 am
Hastings are among Sussex sides keen to play again but unable to while they are in tier four / Picture: Scott White

Local divisions including those in the Isthmian League and Southern Combination League have put fixtures on hold while Sussex and other areas around it are in tier four of Covid lockdown restrictions.

The leagues have pledged to review their season’s ‘pauses’ once the government’s restrictions are eased. With the government set to put more regions into tier four today - with no hint that any areas are to see restrictions eased - it does not look like any paused league will resume in the next couple of weeks.

Until things change in terms of tier four gradings, there is little prospect of play resuming. It’s a similar situation for many other sports, here and in other parts of the country.

The Isthmian League issued its own decision before Sussex had gone into tier four, acting as soon as other parts of the south-east were confirmed as going into tier three on December 17.

Although a number of other leagues allowed fixtures to continue over the weekend before Christmas, they have now followed suit and put games on hold.

As reported last week, the Southern Combination said it would review its own pause as soon as was practical.

Tier four football rules mean adult non-elite and grassroots games/training are not permitted; under-18s and disabled sport is allowed, but players in tier four cannot play/train in tiers one, two or three; elite sport can continue.