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Summer football season could be cancelled

By Matt Leslie

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The Coronavirus outbreak could see the cancellation of this summer's Caithness County League football season.

With the Scottish Football Association announcing a total suspension of football from the top flight all the way down to grassroots level, the Caithness Amateur Football Asscociation (CAFA) confirmed they would be observing SFA protocol.

That means at best, the season – due to begin in May – will have a delayed start. At worst, the whole season itself could be cancelled if worldwide efforts to combat the Coronavirus are either ongoing or have concluded at too late a stage for the CAFA season to begin.

CAFA President Murray Coghill said: "As with everyone else, we have decided to suspend all football activity until further notice.

"Obviously it is disappointing that we have to do this but the health of players, coaches, spectators and officials come first.

"We will now have to wait and see as to what transpires before we can consider when to start our season – if that is possible.

"As most people know, our season is governed by the daylight with evening kick-offs in the late spring and summer months.

"Putting off the season month by month will increase the chances of the season not starting at all once the nights start to draw in around September time.

We might have to consider doing away with one or all of the cup competitions

"A May start is in the balance. Starting in June could be feasible but we might have to consider doing away with one or all of the cup competitions in order to get the league season for both divisions finished.

"A much later start would, as already stated, affect kick-off times and would also run the risk of overlapping with the Highland and North Caledonian Leagues who play from August and September through to April and May.

"Our clubs have players who play in the winter for Wick Academy and some of the North Caledonian League teams and they may have to leave our own affiliated clubs before our season ends to play for them.

"So with all of that, the possibility of the entire season being written off is there."

Meanwhile, the Highland Amateur Cup committee have cancelled this weekend's AGM and with it, the draw for the opening round of the Highland Amateur Cup.

Committee secretary, Bob Gunn said: "It will come as no great surprise, that in light of the current situation and the Governments position today regarding unnecessary travel, the Highland Amateur Cup AGM in Dingwall on Saturday has been postponed.

"We will reschedule once football is given permission to re-start. I am unable to offer any other guidance at this time, however we will remain in contact with the Scottish Amateur Football Association who will guide us through these unprecedented times."

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