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Irish League fans are always ready to attend fixtures as NI Sports Forum to ask Northern Ireland executive on new coronavirus restrictions

Irish League fans will still be able to step onto the pitch for the first round of matches this weekend of the 20/21 season.

a new round of coronavirus restrictions were announced by the Northern Ireland executive on Wednesday morning, with important ramifications for the sport.

From Friday no indoor sport can take place nor any organized contact sport involving a mixture of households outside the elite level. The restrictions will last for four weeks.

All local football below Danske Bank Premiership level is expected to be impacted, with the Championship and Premier Intermediate League initially scheduled to start this weekend. The Women’s Premiership, whose truncated season has already started, may have to come to a halt although a final announcement is expected later on whether or not it falls within the ‘elite level’ classification of professional or semi-professional sport.

The inter-county GAA will continue as planned, with the Allianz League returning this weekend, and senior Ulster Rugby fixtures will also be played.

Indoor sports such as netball and basketball will be forced to stop and the new restrictions will result in many grassroots sports being discontinued. The NI Sports Forum, which represents the interests of volunteer activities across the sports spectrum, says it will be asking questions of the executive.

“Our members have once again expressed their concerns about the financial stability of their organizations and clubs, and the latest restrictions dramatically increase those concerns,” a statement read.

“It should be noted that a significant number of members confidently indicated that they were not aware of any case of transmission of the virus through practice or participation in their sport or physical activity.

“During the difficult times we live in, the health and well-being of our communities is of vital importance and we will seek clarification from the NI executive not only on how the sport can work in the weeks to come. ahead, but on why strict restrictions have been placed on a highly regulated industry that has worked hard to ensure the safety of all athletes and participants. ”

Fans had returned to GAA games before the organization suspended club games due to what it called “disappointing and problematic” post-match celebrations and a lack of social distancing during the match. of certain events.

Ulster Rugby and the Northern Ireland national football team hosted drivers with 600 returning home fans while Irish League football clubs hosted a small number of supporters in pre-season friendlies -season and County Antrim Shield games.

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