Four clubs have been forced to withdraw from the FA Cup Preliminary Round stage, which is set to go ahead this weekend, during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Extra Preliminary Round took place a few weeks ago, however teams are left with no choice but to exit the competition with players picking up the deadly virus.
Three teams, Redhill, Burton Park Wanderers and Walsham-le-Willows announced that they pulled out of the tournament, and one team, Droylsden, couldn’t play due to their choice to leave the Northern Premier League citing the impact of COVID-19 pandemic has had on the club.
Earlier this week, it was confirmed by newly formed club FC Isle of Man that they would not be able to play their first ever FA Vase tie, against AFC Liverpool, due to the same reason.
Well in the last few days, non league sides Lincoln United, Dunston, GNG Oadby Town, and Broadbridge Heath forfeited their FA Cup Preliminary Round ties.
Lincoln United stated: “As reported and updated yesterday the men’s senior section of the club has unfortunately suffered from a Covid-19 outbreak. We have been working closely with Public and Environmental Health in order to ensure the club follows guidelines to contain the spread of the virus, prioritise health and ensure our facilities are safe to use.
“We had hoped that our FA Cup fixture against West Bridgford FC could go ahead this Saturday, however working with Environmental Health the decision was made that, due to the number of positive tests within our senior men’s section, we are considered a “Covid-19 Outbreak” and therefore we are unable to fulfil the fixture. Due to the nature of the FA Cup, the game is unable to be postponed, meaning the men’s first team are out of this season’s competition.
“The club can confirm there have been no further confirmed Covid-19 cases at the club since the initial outbreak of 8 players, and stress the decision to not play in this Saturday’s fixture, is following the advice from Public and Environmental Health, and not due to any further positive tests within the club.
“Lincoln United FC wishes to thank the staff at Public and Environmental Health for their support and advice during the last few days.
“Whilst this news is of course disappointing, we hope to see our 8 players who have unfortunately tested positive fit and well soon and wish West Bridgford FC the very best in the next round.”
Dunston said: “Dunston UTS can confirm that 2 of our players have tested positive for Covid-19 and we have been working closely with Public Health England(PHE) to ensure the appropriate action is taken, to keep players, club officials and the public safe.
“Following guidance from PHE we have advised all players who were in contact with the individuals who have tested positive to self isolate for 14 days from Friday 4th September. We have also been in contact with any other individuals who may have been in contact with the two individual players concerned.
“As we are unable to postpone the game it has left us with no other alternative but to forfeit the tie.
“We have arranged a third party specialist cleaning company to carry out a thorough disinfecting exercise at the UTS Stadium.”
GNG Oadby Town said: “GNG Oadby Town FC confirms that after showing symptoms a player has tested positive for COVID-19. We have taken advice from Public Health England today and we have been in constant dialogue with the United Counties League.
“Health & Safety and the welfare of people is our number one priority. GNG Oadby Town FC is following medical protocols from the national health authorities and is advising all our players, supporters, members and spectators to follow Government Guidance should they display any symptoms of COVID 19.
“Until further notification please be advised that all football activities are suspended.”
Broadbridge Heath said: “Due to players testing positive for COVID-19 the Club has made the decision to withdraw from this years competition.
“Broadbridge Heath FC can now confirm 3 senior players have tested positive for COVID-19 and we’ve therefore taken the decision to withdraw from the competition.
“All club members/players are being advised to follow government guidance and self isolate/test where appropriate.”