By Harry Shorthose
SOCCER made its return to Carlow recently following the Covid-19 outbreak and ensuing lockdown as the Over-35’s league began a shortened league on Saturday with a number of new protocols in place.
“It’s up to each club to be aware of their own protocols. It’s up to each referee to be aware of their own protocols and spectators are responsible for themselves. We as a league have had to change a number of our policies as a result of the protocols,” Carlow League secretary Brian O’Reilly explained.
Such protocols now include the home side paying the referee the full fee in league matches. The matchcard can only be handled by both managers and the referee before being placed in a sealed envelope before the match. Referees will inspect all players before the game including substitutes. Team talks must be done outside. There will be no access to changing rooms whilst referees are to arrive as close to kick off time as possible and bring their own drinks. Spectators will be limited to 150 max with extras to be turned away at the gate.
Covid officers from each club will keep a record of their players and staff at games for contact tracing with supporters responsible for themselves. At private grounds, they may be asked for a name and contact number whilst social distancing is encouraged as much as possible. Players showing any Covid symptoms are asked to not present at the game, likewise with training.
“It is unfortunately a lot of extra work on clubs, they have been very busy but as long as the workload is shared around, it won’t be too difficult,” O’Reilly explained.