A non league club have been forced to forfeit their FA Cup tie this week and pull out of the competition, they have revealed in a statement.
Some 183 extra preliminary round ties, the first of 13 hurdles before the final at Wembley on 15 May 2021, is set to due to take place between Monday and Thursday in front of a reduced number of supporters.
One of those ties that was set to be played out was Surrey part-timers Redhill and Egham Town, both of who play in the Combined Counties League Premier Division.
Redhill announced in a statement via the club’s website: “We have received confirmation that one of our First Team players has tested positive today for Covid-19.
“Following detailed consultation with Public Health England, we are advising those who had close contact with the player in question to self-isolate for the next 14 days. The advice given is that this is limited to Redhill FC management team and players who shared the dressing room; fixtures will be suspended during this 2 week period.
“We hope everyone involved has a clean bill of health in the coming weeks and we look forward to the resumption of First Team football.”
A further statement was issued on Sunday, just days before their tie was set to go ahead, it read: “Further to our COVID-19 Statement released earlier this week, we have assessed the impact on our upcoming First Team fixtures. Regrettably, we must forfeit the FA Cup Extra-preliminary round tie against Egham Town on Tuesday evening next; we wish Egham Town the very best in the Preliminary Round on Saturday the 12th of September.
“We remain positive and optimistic about the prospects of our full squad and management team returning to competitive football and thank everyone for their kind support at this time.”
With 889 eligible entrants, more than the number of places available, teams from level 10 of the English football league system were accepted up to the point at which the 737 places were full, based on a random draw. This reflected the cancellation of level 10 leagues in the 2019–20 season due to the coronavirus pandemic, and thus the absence of league placings on which to base qualification, as had been used in previous seasons. The pandemic also led to the removal of replays from the qualifying competition, in order to fit with a delayed start following the extended 2019-20 football season, and a reduction in the prize fund, with figures returning to those last used in the 2017–18 FA Cup.
Many teams have been forced to drop a league due to the struggles faced this year with no form of income coming in.
Droylsden are one club that have also withdrawn from this season’s FA Cup along with the upcoming Northern Premier League campaign.
At the start of the month, they said: “Droylsden Football Club have as of today resigned from the Northern Premier League and will also take no part in Cup Competition this season
“In a letter sent to the Northern Premier League, Chairman Dave Pace described the decision as the most difficult he has ever had to make.
“However the disruption caused by the Covid-19 crisis has left him with no alternative.
“The closing of the social club and its function rooms since the start of the pandemic, the main income source with no indication of any restart on viable trading terms along with a loss of income from the club’s main sponsor has left the club with no visible alternative income stream during the crisis.
“The club may hopefully survive this crisis and continue into the future in less challenging circumstances than we find ourselves in during the present”
The club will be making no further statement at the present time.”
After finding out that non league club Redhill have been forced to forfeit their FA Cup tie and pull out of the competition, fans gave their reaction…
Big problem in non league this and it will interrupt everyone’s season at some point
— steve davis. @berkofc (@stevedavis49) August 27, 2020
Very sorry to read this @redhillfc Good luck again for the season, you’ll bounce back from this.
— Crowborough AFC (@CrowboroughAFC) August 30, 2020
Such a shame it couldn’t be put on hold but health is more impirtant. Hope every one stays safe and well.
— SueC(R) ?? ??? (@1280sue) August 29, 2020
Not that your competition rules give them much choice. Lets see what happens if Mo Salah tests positive on the eve of the semi-final shall we?
— Andy Dakin (@groundhopper23) August 31, 2020
— Andrew Simpson (@simmo_on_sport) August 31, 2020
Not surprised when you’ve got everyone turning up at pre-season games not wearing masks etc
— ?????????????? (@russgregory11) August 27, 2020