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Non league club forced to forfeit FA Vase tie and pull out of the competition

A non league club has been forced to forfeit their FA Vase tie this week and pull out of the competition, they have revealed in a statement.

Some 221 first qualifying round ties, the first of 9 hurdles before the final at Wembley on the 8th of May 2021, is set to due to take place later this month (September 2020) in front of a reduced number of supporters.

One of those ties that was set to be played out was newly formed club FC Isle of Man against AFC Liverpool, both of who play in the North West Counties Football League.

A statement on the club’s website read: “It is with regret that FC Isle of Man announce that the club has had to withdraw from the 2020/21 FA Vase.

“Following discussions with the Isle of Man Government and the Football Association, it is clear that the current border regulations on the island are not conducive in enabling the club to fulfil this particular fixture at this time. Therefore, we have reluctantly informed the Football Association and AFC Liverpool that we will be unable to complete this fixture.

“Everyone at FC Isle of Man wish AFC Liverpool the very best with their continued participation in the competition and we look forward to competing in next season’s FA Vase.

“With regard to our upcoming Northwest Counties Football League Division One (South) fixtures, we are in active dialogue with the NWCFL and the Isle of Man Government and will plan for all contingencies. All parties share the same objectives of finding an appropriate way forward.

“We will advise our supporters of any decisions in due course.”

It also comes after four clubs had no choice but to depart the 2020/21 FA Cup qualifying rounds due to a player testing positive for coronavirus.

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Surrey part-timers Redhill were forced to postpone their tie against their ‎Combined Counties League Premier Division opponents Egham Town.

The second FA Cup tie – planned to be streamed live by the BBC – was forfeited. United Counties League Division One outfit Burton Park Wanderers, who were set to take on AFC Sudbury of the Isthmian League North Division, revealed that one of their squad members also picked up the virus.

Eastern Counties League Premier Division side Walsham-le-Willows announced they had to withdraw, for the same reason. They had been set to play Newmarket Town on the same day as the frustrating announcement.

Since then, many pre-season friendlies, as well as lower league matches (further down the non league pyramid) has been called off, especially with the rise in cases in certain parts of the country.

Social gatherings of more than six people is to be illegal in England from Monday – with some exemptions – amid a big rise in coronavirus cases.

The law change will see a ban larger groups meeting anywhere socially indoors or outdoors, the government said.

But it will not apply to schools, workplaces or Covid-secure weddings, funerals and organised team sports.

It will be enforced through a £100 fine if people fail to comply, doubling on each offence up to a maximum of £3,200.

The new rules – which come into force on 14 September – mark a change to England’s current guidance.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to give further details of the changes at a Downing Street news conference at 4:00pm on Wednesday.

“One of the pieces of feedback we had including from the police was that we needed the rules to be super simple so that everybody knows what they are,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

“And now this will now be rigorously enforced by the police.”

Mr Hancock told BBC Breakfast: “This is really simple. Gatherings are ok, they should be socially distanced of course, but groups only of up to six.”

He said it means that some families will not be able to see both grandparents at the same time. “You know, I have three children,” he said. “We have a family of five. And so we’ll be able to see one other person at a time, as a whole family.”

On whether the new rules could stop grandparents helping out with childcare, Mr Hancock said: “I’m not actively trying to do that”.

But he said the government is “quite worried about” the “very serious problem” of children potentially passing on the virus to older grandparents.

Matt Hancock said the rules would be in place for the “foreseeable future”.

“I really hope we can turn this round before Christmas. I think that, in a pandemic, Christmas is a long way off,” he told BBC Radio 4.

“Three months is a long time in a pandemic and I very much hope this strong rule, together with the local action we’ve taken in places like Bolton… I very hope much therefore this can work to do that by Christmas.”

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