suspension of non-elite football

in line with the government's roadmap out of lockdown, below is the current guidance from monday 12th april

Grassroots football in England is now permitted, but the guidance below must be adhered to at all times.

Our guidance has therefore been updated to reflect the changes to national restrictions. The key changes to note are in relation to spectators, use of changing rooms and outdoor hospitality.

Further changes to the guidance will come into place on Monday 17th May.

Travel From April 12

As organised sport can resume, all participants may travel to games but should avoid travel at the busiest times and routes, as well as minimising any unnecessary journeys where possible. All participants must follow the Government’s guidance on safer travel. Participants should note that this guidance will be updated as we move through the different steps of the Government’s roadmap. All participants should therefore regularly review this guidance to make sure they are following up to date information.

Changing Rooms From April 12

Changing rooms can be used as part of step two of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown. However, participants should minimise their use of changing facilities where possible. Toilets will be allowed to open, 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after training and/or matches.


On 7 April, the Government updated its guidance in relation to spectators. This confirms that at Step Two and Step One B, spectators are not permitted to attend sporting events taking place on private land, other than adults needed to supervise U18s that they have a responsibility for or providing care or assistance to a person with disabilities. They should maintain social distance and not mix with other households. This does not prevent people from viewing recreational or organised sport that is taking place in a public space, e.g. a park, at Step One B or Step Two, in groups of up to six people or two households. However, sporting events that are intended to attract spectators (including ticketed football matches), or events that are likely to attract a significant number of spectators (e.g. matches that would attract a large crowd) should not take place in a public space, or on private land, until step three.

Parents/Carers From April 12

Where clubs and facilities can accommodate this safely, parents and carers are permitted to be present at football activities, although they must observe the relevant Government COVID-19 guidance, including those on gathering limits for spectators.

Indoor Football From April 12

As part of step two of the Government’s roadmap, indoor football for U18s can take place in line with Department for Education and Out of School Setting guidance. All participants should read and follow this guidance for all indoor football activities. 

Disabled people can take part in organised outdoor and indoor football without being subject to social contact limits.      

Indoor football for adults is not currently allowed. This is planned to return no earlier than Monday 17 May for adults, as part of step three of the Government’s roadmap. 

Outdoor Hospitality From April 12

As part of step two of the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, outdoor hospitality at grassroots 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. Please note that while outdoor hospitality is permitted, spectators are not allowed at games unless on public land.

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, we will communicate these in due course and we'll continue to update our guidance as we move through the different steps of the roadmap out of lockdown.

It's 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. Any incidents of non-compliance will be reported to the local County Football Association.




Affiliations, County Cups & Risk Assesments

We're offering all clubs who affiliated for the 2019/20 season, FREE affiliation for the 2020/21 season.

We are also giving clubs FREE entry into our County Cups for the 2020/21 season. 

Affiliated clubs organising and/or hosting football activities have a legal duty to take reasonable care to avoid acts or omissions which are a reasonably foreseeable risk.

Clubs should carry out Covid-19 risk assessments thatcover all risks, including those associated with the pandemic and how the club intends to ensure that its members and activities will operate within the Government guidance.






How does Covid-19 affect our match officials?

The effects of the pandemic are still hitting all of us, and it's all change on a matchday for the time being.

Referee's will need to come to terms with the changes, and ensure they are adhering to social distancing and taking extra precaution, just like players, coaches and spectators do on a matchday. 

Some of the guidelines include:

• Minimise face-to-face contact where possible;
• Avoid lengthy periods of time in enclosed spaces;
• Ensure appropriate hygiene protocols are always in place;
• Encourage maintenance of appropriate social-distancing measures.

Covid-19 guidance on re-starting competitive grassroots football For Referees


Referee Specific Guidance on Returning to NLS Football

Below are some documents to help referee's in the County learn about the changes, along with guidance notes for them.

For support on any of the above, please contact our Referee Development Officer, Richard Mason on 01626 325917, or email - richard.mason@devonfa.com

Refereeing Support
paul m
It's vitally important for all of us involved in football to read the guidance from the FA and the Government, as well as take measures and precautions to stop the virus spreading whilst we are on or off the pitch.
- Paul Morrison, Devon FA Chief Executive CLICK HERE FOR A SUMMARY OF THE FA'S GUIDANCE