Jersey’s grassroots football league stands among a dwindling group of competitive organisations currently able to stage a full schedule of fixtures, with the sport running on the green light given by the government in September due to the ‘fleeting’ nature of contact between players.
However, an Islandwide increase in Covid case numbers has forced Jersey FA officials to consider the potential impact on the current campaign – particularly following the postponement of an under-16 fixture between St Peter and Jersey Wanderers on Sunday due to track and trace isolation requirements.
‘With levels of Covid rising in the Island over the last few weeks we do realise that there may be disruption to fixtures,’ said JFA chief executive David Kennedy. ‘As a result, we have sent guidance to clubs providing them with clarity on what to do if a Covid case is identified.
‘Jersey seems to be at a tipping point and this is a timely reminder that everyone in the Island needs to approach Covid with renewed focus. It is not a time to be complacent.’
Discussing the potential need for blanket postponements in upcoming weeks – if stricter measures are enforced by the Island’s medical experts – Kennedy said: ‘At this stage we don’t want to contemplate a situation where 2,000 footballers are unable to take part in a sport that provides considerable benefits to mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.
‘There has been so much hard work done behind the scenes by volunteers at the clubs to get the game going this season. They are taking on added burdens with cleaning, risk assessments and ensuring that track and trace is in place, which goes above the level of commitment they regularly invest. They do it because they are passionate about their clubs and they want it to continue during these unprecedented times.’