FAI Safer return to training &play protocol from 7th June2021

FAI SAFER RETURN TO TRAINING & PLAY PROTOCOL
GRASSROOTS UNDERAGE, YOUTH & ADULT FOOTBALL
7
TH Edition – Updated June 4th 2021
INTRODUCTION
– This Protocol applies to all training sessions and matches from Monday 7
th June 2021.
– The primary aim of this Protocol is to support the clubs affiliated to the FAI and to protect
the health & safety of their players, coaches, all essential personnel, and volunteers in a
safer return to training and matches.
– This Protocol will be in line with Department of Health and Public Health Policy at all times.
– This Protocol will follow all Government updates on the Resilience and Recovery: The Path
Ahead guidelines.
– The Protocol will be utilised in line with all other FAI policy documents including Child
Welfare & Safeguarding Policy.CONTENT
1 – Key Dates
2 – Club Management | COVID-19 Compliance Officers
3 – Preparing Training Venues, Facilities & Equipment
4 – Training Groups | Numbers
5 – Match Day
6 – Crowd Control for Club Venues
7 – Coach Responsibilities
8 – Before You Coach
9 – Player Responsibilities
10 – Before You Train/Play
11 – Training Sessions
12 – Contact Definition
13 – Updating Policy
14 – Next Steps 1 – Key Dates
– This Protocol applies to all training sessions and matches from Monday 7
th June 2021 and
must be adhered to for all training sessions and matches under the jurisdiction of the FAI
and its Affiliates.
2 – Club Management COVID-19 Compliance
– Club management committees must review the FAI Safer Return to Training & Play Protocol
7
th Edition ahead of any return to games from Monday 7
th June 2021.
– No indoor dressing rooms to be used until further notice.
– COVID-19 Compliance Officers should be familiar with the Updated FAI Safer Return to
Training & Play Protocol 7
th edition in advance of any consultation with their club.
– All clubs must appoint at least one COVID-19 Compliance Officer before any return to
training/matches are implemented.
– Clubs with multiple training/match venues will need to appoint more than one COVID-19
Compliance Officer (minimum 1 per training/match venue).
– The Football Association of Ireland will provide Role & Responsibilities Document for all
COVID-19 Compliance Officers.
– Clubs must confirm appointment of COVID-19 Compliance Officer(s) to FAI via the checklist
before any return to training/play. Clubs who have already completed this process do not
need to do so again.
– Clubs must ensure, through their Compliance Officers, that all coaches, parents and players
are fully aware of their responsibilities.
– Clubs must continually educate players/coaches/parents/guardians/volunteers – see
https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/
– Clubs are advised to inform insurers of their intention to return to training/matches.
– Clubs who are returning to training/matches must follow all steps set out above.3 – Preparing Training and Match Venues, Facilities & Equipment
– A COVID-19 Risk Assessment must be carried out by all clubs in advance of any resumption
of training/matches and/or facility reopening.
– FAI Risk Assessment Template can be found here – FAI Risk Assessment Template
– The Risk Assessment must be reviewed in advance of training/matches returning and kept
up to date at all times.
– The Risk Assessment must be in line with any Government updates to the Resilience and
Recovery: The Path Ahead guidelines.
– No dressing rooms can be used.
– No shower facilities can be used.
– Sanitary facilities should be accessible for players and coaches.
– Sanitary facilities should be thoroughly cleaned before the first and after the last training
session/match at the venue.
– Hand sanitizer and cleaning products should be available in the sanitary facilities for use
during training sessions.
– All training equipment – including goalposts – must be sanitised before and after every
training session/game.
– Players and Coaches must bring their own hand sanitisers.
– Clubs are advised to have hand sanitisers in place and observe strict hand hygiene measures.
– COVID-19 Signage must be clearly visible throughout the training facility.
– COVID-19 Signage is available to download from www.fai.ie
4- Training Groups / Numbers
– Underage Training (Under 18) – (Pod of 13 players and minimum 2 coaches)
– Adult Training- (Pod of 14 players and minimum 1 coach)
– Clubs must adhere to the FAI Child Welfare and Safeguarding Policy and other associated
policies, at all times which can be found here – FAI Child Welfare & Safeguarding Policy
– Only essential personnel are permitted access onto the training pitch/match pitch.
– More than one team can train at a venue at any given time provided there is a clear buffer
zone between the groups.
– Keep training times staggered to ease the flow of arrivals and departures of players and
coaches. 5 – Match Day
– Matches can resume from Monday 7th June 2021.
– Teams should arrive as close to kick off as possible.
– All players and staff should travel to games in line with HSE Guidelines gov.ie – COVID-19
Travel Advice (www.gov.ie)
– Travel in your gear.
– Bring your own labelled food and water in a sealed bag.
– On arrival observe and obey COVID-19 signage.
– Player and coaches should observe 2 metre social distance where possible (Warm Ups,
Meetings, Team Talks).
– No hand greetings are permitted.
– No spitting is permitted.
– Pre-match and half time meetings should take place on the pitch.
– Dugouts should be avoided unless adequate 2 metre social distancing can take place.
– A coach or club physio can attend an injured player on the pitch but please wear a facemask
and gloves.
– A designated room can be used to treat injured players.
– A player/match official suspected of a new onset of covid 19 must be given a facemask and
isolated from the rest of the attendees.
– After the game please adhere to social distancing guidelines and leave the complex as
quickly as possible.
– Each club COVID-19 Compliance Officer is responsible for keeping a list of their own squad
for each match day for contact tracing purposes. This does not apply to spectators.
– Toilet facilities can be used with cleaning after each event.
6 – Crowd Control for Club Venues
– The numbers permitted for outdoor match day from 7th June is 100 for a capacity of lower
than 5,000 and 200 for a capacity of higher than 5,000 people as per government guidelines.
– https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/7894b-post-cabinet-statement-resilience-andrecovery-the-path-ahead/
– Spectators should ensure 2 metre social distancing is maintained at all times and avoid
congregating.7- Coach Responsibilities
– All coaches must be familiar with the Updated FAI Safer Return to Training/Play Protocol.
– All coaches must ensure that all participants in training sessions/matches are briefed on the
Updated FAI Safer Return to Training/Play Protocol.
– Coaches must arrive to the training session/match in their training gear.
– All coaches must adhere to the Updated FAI Safer Return to Training/Play Protocol
throughout the full duration of the training session/match.
– Coaches must provide a register of attendees at all training sessions/matches to the COVID19 Compliance Officer for contact tracing purposes.
– Coaches must bring their own hand sanitizer.
– Coaches must ensure that the training area and pitch is clear of all equipment before leaving
the facility.
8 – Before You Coach
If you feel unwell, the following guidelines should be followed:
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/symptoms.html
If you are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 you must follow the advice
provided here – https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/testing/if-you-are-a-close-contact.html
Guidelines on when and how to restrict movements can be found here –
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/if-you-live-withsomeone-who-has-coronavirus.html
9 – Player Responsibilities
– All adult players & parents/guardians of underage players must be familiar with the Updated
FAI Safer Return to Training/Play Protocol.
– Clubs must ensure that all players & parents/guardians of underage players are briefed on
the Updated Protocol before returning to training/matches.
– Players and parents/guardians are advised to keep up to date with HSE Guidelines.
– Players must arrive in their training gear/match gear and with their own equipment
including water (labelled with their name) and shin pads.
– Goalkeepers, or any player acting as a goalkeeper, must wear their own gloves
– Players must bring their own hand sanitiser.
– Personal items must be labelled with the player’s name and not shared.
– Players must bring all personal items home with them.10 – Before You Train/Play
If you feel unwell, the following guidelines should be followed:
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/symptoms.html
If you are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 you must follow the advice
provided here – https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/testing/if-you-are-a-close-contact.html
Guidelines on when and how to restrict movements can be found here –
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/managing-coronavirus-at-home/if-you-live-withsomeone-who-has-coronavirus.html
11– Training sessions
– Access and egress to and from the training pitch or area must be coordinated and is subject
to social distancing guidelines.
– A 15 minute gap between sessions must be implemented if consecutive training sessions are
scheduled on the same training area.
– All activity must take place only on the training pitch or area.
– Players and coaches must practice good coughing & sneezing etiquette.
– Players and coaches must adhere to HSE guidelines on hand hygiene at all times.
– Any meeting which may need to take place must take place on the training pitch area and
should last no longer than 10 minutes.
– All meetings and briefings on the training pitch or area must adhere to social distancing
guidelines. Please avoid players queueing within activities.
– Contact must be made with a parent/guardian of any underage player who is suspected of
contracting COVID-19.
– Players in need of attention, where possible, should be treated on the pitch.
– A coach or Club Physiotherapist can attend an injured player on the pitch.
– They should wear a face mask and gloves.
– A designated room – where applicable and necessary – can be used for treating an injured
player.
– Physiotherapists – where applicable – must wear PPE.
– A player or coach suspected of a new onset of COVID-19 must be given a face mask and
must be isolated immediately from the rest of the attendees.
– Contact must be made with a parent/guardian of any underage player who is suspected of
contracting COVID-19.12 – Contact definition
Close Contact -v- Casual Contact
Guidelines on close and casual contacts can be found here –
https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/close-contact-and-casual-contact.html
13 – Updating Policy
– Clubs should communicate regularly to review implementation, Risk Assessment and
Updated FAI Safer Return to Training and Play Protocols.
– All clubs should hold regular de-briefing sessions with coaches, player representatives and
COVID-19 Compliance Officers and also seek feedback from spectators.
14 – Next Steps
– The FAI will continue to update this FAI Safer Return to Training & Play Protocol based on
the advice of Government and Health agencies.
– All FAI Safer Return to Training and Play Protocols updated will be posted on FAI.ie
– All enquiries can be emailed to covidchecklist@fai.ie
All stakeholders, including players, match officials, coaches, administrators and parents
and spectators have a responsibility in ensuring the above guidelines are adhered to at all
times. In turn, this will ensure that our players can continue to participate safely in sport.

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