The Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association (NLSA) has received a number of membership inquiries regarding our Return to Play planning and COVID-19 Management. We are providing the following update.
Return to Play Planning
The decision for Soccer’s Return to Play, in what will be a phased-in approach, is both a national as well as provincial one. At the present time, each Provincial and Territorial Soccer Association has developed a specific Return to Play Guide (RTPG) for their membership that includes safety protocols and recommendations. The RTPG is designed for Clubs and addresses key operational subject areas that must comply with both Canada Soccer technical and medical authorities as well as Provincial/Territorial public health agencies.
The Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association’s RTPG has been reviewed and conditionally approved by a Canada Soccer Panel that is made up of administrative, technical and medical experts.
In addition to this verification process, and more importantly, is that Provincial or Territorial governments must first confirm that their sector, amateur (team) sport, is cleared and approved for Return to Play. It is imperative throughout the process that both sport, as well as regional governments, are in full alignment with the safety and health authorities.
At the present time in Newfoundland and Labrador, there is no indication from the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador regarding our Return to Play timelines. The NLSA continues to work closely with Sport Newfoundland and Labrador officials and anticipates that in the month of June further details will be provided.
Our goal is to provide membership with as much advanced notice as we can regarding our Return to Play initiatives so that membership can prepare effectively. This is in reference to what we can control. As demonstrated, COVID-19 management is very fluid and NOT fully in our control. The NLSA has seen examples of this already within sport across the country. Needless to say, we will be prepared as best we can and ready to get Players, Match Officials and Coaches back on the pitch doing what they love, and most importantly in a safe and cautious way.
Ongoing COVID-19 Management
Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association staff continue to participate in daily, weekly and semi-monthly online meetings and conference calls, all focused around COVID-19 management. These meetings include Canada Soccer cross-country administration meetings, Canada Soccer cross-country technical meetings, Sport Newfoundland and Labrador meetings and our own Executive and Board of Directors’ meetings. Rest assured we are in the middle of very fluid developments around this pandemic and the NLSA is preparing and communicating as effectively as we can.
We ask for your continued patience and understanding as we navigate through this next period and we look forward to seeing our participants safely return to the pitch under the Return to Play plan. We fully understand that for some Clubs, decisions have already been made to shut down operations for the summer season, in various locations around the province.