With the current government restrictions remaining in place until 9 May, the Irish FA Board has agreed to extend the suspension of the football season in Northern Ireland until 31 May.
In accordance with Football Regulation 36a, as 31 May represents the end the specified season, any league wishing to attempt to complete their season must seek an extension of the season from the Irish FA Football Committee.
Below is a correspondence sent to All league Secretaries / Divisional Associations.
End of season 2019/20
The Irish FA Board has decided that, due to the pandemic and government restrictions now in place, the current suspension of the football season should be extended to 31 May.
As you will be aware the 31 May is the end of the season specified in the Football Regulations (36a). The suspension of the season to this date now entails that leagues and associations will now be required to decide how they wish to conclude season 2019/20.
For those wishing to attempt to finish the season by playing matches there will now be a requirement to submit a written request to the Football Committee for an extension to the season. This correspondence can be sent to the Football Committee via myself at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leagues and Associations should be aware that the practicalities of such attempts will depend on the government restrictions being lessened and football being able to be played. It is also to be noted that such season extensions are normally unlikely to be granted beyond 31 July.
Any leagues which now decide to end their season as it stands, or to take any other step to conclude the season should ensure that such actions are taken fully in line with their own governance regulations and within the league rules, or with the support of the majority of their member clubs.
Should there be awards of trophies or of promotion or relegation the Association would recommend that such decisions are taken on sporting merit.
To allow the Association to have full visibility of the position across the leagues I would ask secretaries to contact me by no later than 16 May to let me know when and what decisions on the season end have been made, or to request a season extension.