FAI Safe return to play protocol
Powerpoint and guidelines on return to play and training there is a powerpoint for each

To view the return to play protocols for all clubs please Click here

To view the return to training protocols for all clubs please Click Here

To View the return to play protocols for all REFEREES please Click Here

To View all the documents needed to complete return to play paperwork Please Click Here


This Protocol applies to all training sessions and matches from Monday 7th June 2021.

Club Management COVID-19 Compliance

Club management committees must review the FAI Safer Return to Training & Play Protocol 7th Edition ahead of any return to games from Monday 7th 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 7th 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 HSE

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.- Crowd Control for Club Venues.

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 queuing 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.

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.

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.

13/07/2020 12:09