The Scottish FA has been encouraged to see so many clubs engaging with their local community, enabling people to return safely to a restricted programme of football training and activity.
As we continue to plan ahead, the Grassroots sub group of the Scottish FA Coronavirus Joint Response Group has created tentative plans providing a framework to inform Affiliated National Associations and Leagues of the steps which could allow a return to competition to take place, given any future approval by the Scottish Government.
In conjunction with the Scottish Government and Sportscotland, the Scottish FA are working on a staged approach which may allow competition to return by late Autumn, with mid-October identified as the earliest possible date.
It must be stressed that the return to competition requires many factors to be considered and will be predicated on the continued progress being made in Scotland against the virus. Therefore, dates are only indicative and are subject to change based on public health guidance. Each stage will also be based upon the continued easing of restrictions and with approval of the Scottish Government.
The staged approach is as follows:
Stage 1 - Return to restricted contact training for adults
Stage 2 - Full return to contact training
Stage 3 - Local inter club match activity (including local friendly matches)
Stage 4 - Return to affiliated competitions
Whilst there are no specific dates available at this point, the Scottish FA will work with Affiliated National Associations and Leagues via the Grassroots Sub Group to identify how the stages above could be implemented and what protocols will be required.
The Scottish FA would like to thank everyone involved in the game for continuing to support the phased return of football and for following the current guidelines in place.
Thomas McKeown, Scottish FA Board Director and Chair of the JRG Grassroots Sub Group