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Coronavirus: Most local football still on for now

Most local football teams in south Lincolnshire are going ahead with matches tomorrow, despite coronavirus fears stopping professional fixtures.

United Counties League side Pinchbeck United's game at Loughborough University was called off earlier in the week after a student came into contact with someone who had the virus.

But in the same league Holbeach United's game at home to Lutterworth Town, Deeping Rangers' game at Oadby Town and Bourne Town's home game against Harrowby United will go ahead.

Only Pinchbeck's game has been called off in the United Counties League. (31507539)
Only Pinchbeck's game has been called off in the United Counties League. (31507539)

Spalding United's game at Stamford in the BetVictor Northern Premier League south east division is also on. And local teams will continue to play for the moment in the Peterborough League.

A United Counties League statement reads: "At this point there are no plans to cancel, postpone or play any game behind closed doors."

A statement from the Northern Premier League reads: "The NPL board has decided that all games will go ahead this weekend. The FA has today stated that it is each League’s decision as to what approach it wishes to take. Accordingly, the NPL’s board has decided that all matches will go ahead this weekend, with future fixtures being reviewed on Monday.

"Our primary concern, as always, is to protect the financial stability of our 62 clubs. This means playing as many games as we can, so long as clubs wish to do so. This is not contrary to the League’s and clubs’ duty of care considerations to players, officials or supporters but, in a season where clubs have been severely impacted by weather-related postponements, the NPL board believes that pausing the season right now would prove disastrous for many clubs.

"The situation is changing daily, so our approach to Covid-19 must be flexible, recognising the very genuine concerns around the health of players, officials and supporters.

"The NPL has consistently urged clubs to follow government advice, which is that football matches should go ahead as planned for now. Having carefully weighed up all options, and mindful that we are between a rock and a hard place on this issue, all NPL matches will therefore go ahead as planned this weekend unless a club is directly affected by players, referees or volunteers who are self-isolating or have serious concerns. Clubs have been issued with further guidance and instruction.

"The NPL acknowledges this is not a decision that will meet with universal approval. Although our current stance may have to be reviewed as events escalate, it will be business as usual for as long as possible."

A Peterborough League statement reads: "The advice from the FA at the moment is that grassroots fixtures do not need to be cancelled. However, matches can be postponed by teams who do not wish to play due to concerns about the coronavirus or where players are self-isolating."

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