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Further information needed before decision announced on CDSL Leagues

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*Frank Healy Park locked during COVID-19. Photograph: John Mangan

A decision from the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) is expected to be announced in the coming weeks on whether the current Clare District Soccer Leagues (CDSL) proceed or if a new season is required.

On March 12th, the CDSL made the decision to postpone all local competitions “for the foreseeable future”.

The Clare Echo understands that the FAI have established a committee who will decide for every league in the country on when they will resume activity and if a new season is to commence rather than finishing off current campaigns.

July 20th has been listed as a potential return date with a meeting to take place among FAI officials on Thursday to further examine the practicalities of this.

Were games to recommence on this date, the CDSL leagues would be completed within a month and a new season could commence in September. It is anticipated but not confirmed that the current leagues will be ran off before new campaigns begin.

Prior to the May Bank Holiday weekend, the FAI extended the cessation of football under its jurisdiction to May 18th. The Association is examining the Government’s ‘roadmap for reopening society and business’ before updating stakeholders.

FAI Medical Director Dr Alan Byrne has again advised the FAI that in the current exceptional circumstances, clubs should not engage in collective training during the cessation period for all football activity under the FAI’s jurisdiction.

A spokesperson for the FAI told The Clare Echo that they remain “in constant communication” with the Department of Health and UEFA on COVID-19. “The Association advises all members, volunteers and stakeholders to respect the HSE guidelines on social distancing during this pandemic”.

Chairperson of the CDSL, Oliver Fitzpatrick told The Clare Echo, “We are following HSE advice & any decision on a return to play will come from them & the government. At the moment people’s health more important than sport”.

Avenue Utd A are currently top of the Maloney Garden Machinery Premier Division. They have 29 points from eleven games with reigning champions, Newmarket Celtic A one point adrift with a game in hand. At the bottom end of the table, both Turnpike Rovers on five points and Kilrush Rangers on seven points are vying to starve off relegation.

Current rules prevent both Avenue Utd B and Newmarket Celtic B from securing promotion to the top tier if they win T Sheils & Company First Division League. Third placed Ennis Town on 17 points and fourth placed Moher Celtic on fifteen points are best place to capitalise on this. Tulla Utd and Kildysart Celtic are those bidding to remain in the First Division.

Coole FC were poised to be crowned winners of the Campion Insurance Second Division with Moher Celtic B set to make the drop.

Both Connolly Celtic and Manus Celtic B are tied on top of the Suttons Lighting Third Division with Connolly having a game in hand. Inch Crusaders are two points behind the league leaders.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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