Poppies to play on but Diamonds and Steelmen without games due to coronavirus

Kettering Town are set to be in action this weekend but AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Corby Town are facing at least two weekends of inactivity in the wake of the escalating coronavirus pandemic in the UK.

Friday, 13th March 2020, 3:33 pm
Updated Friday, 13th March 2020, 3:34 pm
Kettering Town will play on at AFC Telford United this weekend but AFC Rushden & Diamonds and Corby Town have seen their matches called off by the Southern League

Following the decision to halt Premier League and Football League action until at least April 4, the Football Association confirmed it would be down to each individual competition to decide whether matches would go ahead this weekend and in future weeks.

And the National League have decided that matches will continue while the Southern League have opted to postpone all games for this weekend and next Saturday and in between.

The decision means the Poppies will travel to AFC Telford United for their scheduled game tomorrow (Saturday) but AFC Rushden & Diamonds’ and Corby Town’s respective trips to Needham Market and Berkhamsted in the Southern League are off.

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A statement from the National League read: “Following a board meeting held today, the National League has decided to allow matches in its three divisions to proceed as planned this weekend.

“The National League will keep the operation of its competition under constant and diligent review, and will remain in compliance with government advice at all times.

“The Football Association has offered its guidance, and made it clear the decision to continue or to suspend a competition is a matter for each league to make.

“The National League places the welfare and well-being of all those involved in and connected to its competition as the highest priority.

“All clubs and supporters are encouraged to stay up to date with the latest public health advice.”

And, in their statement, the Southern League said: “Further to discussions this afternoon, a decision has been taken that all BetVictor Southern League matches will be postponed between Saturday, March 14 and Saturday, March 21 inclusive.

Therefore, there will be no matches taking place tomorrow (Saturday), next midweek or Saturday, March 21.

“A review of the situation will take place next Friday, March 20 and everyone will be notified of the decision as soon as possible regarding the continuation or otherwise of the competition from Monday, March 23.

“In respect to the end of season date, that currently remains as Saturday, April 25 but there will be updates on this website should there be any changes to that.”

The United Counties League released a statement at lunchtime today in which it confirmed there were ‘no plans to cancel’ any matches this weekend.

The league’s statement read: “The UCL have spoken with an FA executive on this morning 13th March 2020.

“At this point there are no plans to cancel, postpone or to play games behind closed doors.

“Although the situation remains fluid and government guidance could change at any point, all games in the UCL will go ahead as planned unless external forces dictate otherwise.

“The UCL will continue to liaise with the governing body to provide necessary leadership.”

On Twitter, the Northants Combination released a statement, which read: “We are taking advice from The FA and that there is presently no rationale to cancel sporting events, this may change as the situation evolves.

“We expect another update from the The FA today and will forward this to all clubs once received.”

The Weetabix Youth League, which sees hundreds of boys and girls playing football in north Northamptonshire, also look set to go ahead with their fixtures this weekend.

A statement on Facebook read: “There is no plans at this moment to cancel any league football at this moment.

“Advice has been taken from the NFA (Northamptonshire Football Association) and as it stands we will play fixtures. Should we be advised any differently we let you know."