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The FA has provided an update on ‘non-elite’ football in advance of Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap.

On Monday 17 May, as part of the next step of the Government’s roadmap out of national lockdown, there will be further changes to the restrictions on ‘non-elite’ football. ESFA guidance has, therefore, been updated to reflect this. The key changes to note are in relation to spectators, indoor hospitality and indoor football and futsal.

This updated guidance comes into effect on Monday 17 May and until then all participants should follow the FA’s guidance for Step 2.

The key changes to be aware of are:


From Step 3, spectators will be permitted to view events on both public and private land but need to adhere to social distancing rules and social gathering limits set at groups of 30 outdoors and six people/two households indoors. Please note that multiple numbers of these group sizes are permitted as long as social distancing rules are followed.

Spectators are allowed indoors, but the total number of all participants, coaches, officials and spectators must comply with the ventilation rates permitted by the particular venue.

At larger events, capacity limits for spectators, set by the Government will apply. For indoor events this is 1,000 or 50% of capacity and for outdoor events this is 4,000 or 50% of capacity (whichever is lower in both cases).

Indoor Hospitality

As part of Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, both outdoor and indoor hospitality at ‘non-elite’ football is permitted. All participants must follow Government guidance on hospitality settings and specific advice for sport facility operators available on the Government’s website. People using clubhouses and hospitality facilities must adhere to legal gathering limits and wider government guidance.

Indoor Football and Futsal

From Step 3, indoor gatherings of either six people (the ‘rule of six’) or two households can take place. This means that organised indoor adult and children's football can return.

For organised indoor sport and physical activity, there’s no limit on group numbers so long as people adhere to capacity restrictions on indoor facilities. The maximum occupancy of each indoor facility should be limited by providing a minimum of 100 square ft per person.

This guidance applies to all youth and adult football and futsal, including all formats of the game. If there are any further updates from the Government, ESFA will communicate these in due course and ESFA will continue to update their guidance as we move through the different steps of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

It is extremely important that clubs, players, coaches, match officials, league officials, volunteers, parents, carers, and facility providers continue to strictly follow both the UK Government's latest guidance on COVID-19 and respective bespoke guidance documents from the FA.


The 2019-20 ESFA Super League season was concluded when Park View Academy of Sport (Chester-le-Street) and John Madejski Academy (Reading) contested the final at St Andrews, home of Birmingham City FC. On two occasions John Madejski took the lead but Park View twice equalised to make it 2-2 at full time. No goals were scored in extra time. Park View successfully converted their first two penalites but the next two were saved by the JMA goalkeeper. Thus John Madejski emerged winners 4-2 on penalties.


The person in the centre of the photograph played for DCSFA in season 1964-65. He had a trial for the ESFA U15 team but made his name as cricketer rather than a footballer.

The above photograph was taken at the final ESFA U15 trial at Coventry in 1967. On the left is someone who played for DCSFA that season. He had a distinguished football career and was the first player to be transferred for £500,000. On the right is a Tottenham Hotspur legend who played over 800 games for the club.

On the left is someone who played for DCSFA and was an England schoolboy international at U15 and U18. He played in the 1973 cup final and gained a winner's medal. Also in the photgraph is Mr R Walton, a past chairman of DCSFA, and Bobby Malt who played in the same district and County U15 team as the mystery player.


All documents relevant for restarting and maintaining schools’ football activity can be found on the ESFA website by using the following link. COVID-19 GUIDANCE

A summary of key points to consider from ESFA guidelines are listed for ease below:


As with all public liability policies the protection is in relation the third-party claims following injuries sustained or property damage claims. For this type of claim to be successful the claimant's solicitor would need to prove the Association had acted negligently. All risk assessments would need to be completed before events take place. For any insurance cover to be effective all activities must be in line with current guidelines, and in adherence with current Social Distancing protocols.

ESFA Evidence of Insurance document can be viewed here.



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