A children’s football league in Northampton has canceled all matches until after the Queen’s funeral, prompting backlash from parents.
Bosses of the Northamptonshire District Youth Alliance League (NDYAL), which is an affiliate league of the Northamptonshire FA, have postponed fixtures across the county this weekend (September 17 and 18).
NDYAL announced on Friday September 9 that matches would be postponed after the Queen’s funeral, which is due to take place on Monday September 19.
Following the Queen’s death, the Football Association (FA), the sport’s national governing body, has postponed all matches across the country due to be played last weekend (September 10 and 11).
However, the FA announced on Monday September 12 that all football is allowed to return this weekend – but the NDYAL will not follow suit and explained why.
NDYAL President Andy Norfolk said in a Facebook post: “In reference to NDYAL’s recent announcement, I would like to address the negative comments and feedback from a small number of people.
“Before the FA sent a general email to everyone involved in football stating that matches would resume, they should perhaps have taken into account the logistics and considerations of everyone involved in carrying out the matches.
“At a league meeting [on Monday] it was voted in favor of maintaining our initial plan.
“There are many factors involved: the availability of players, coaches, referees, parents, social workers, as well as the fact that some of the above may not want to play. Add to that the huge task of assigning referees to matches, the sensible thing was to leave it as is.
“If you don’t agree or understand the reasons above, that’s fine, but as a league we have to look at the bigger picture and not just the needs of one player, d parent, coach, team or club.
“We’re not stopping anyone from playing this weekend. Have a friendly game or other event (but please don’t ask the league to provide referees).
“No further statements will be made. Thank you for your understanding on this matter.”
Many Facebook users criticized the decision on NDYAL’s social media page. Click here to view the original Facebook post.
Player ages in the league range from under seven to under 18.