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Fermanagh and Western league opt for summer extension

THE emergency committee of the Fermanagh and Western League has told the Irish Football Association (IFA) that they would prefer to complete the season even if that meant extending it into the summer months.

With football at all levels put on hold indefinitely due to the escalating Covid-19 outbreak, the IFA wrote to all divisional associations last week outlining a number of preferred options regarding the current season.

These included the season 2019-20 to be voided, the season to end now with trophies awarded based on league positions on March 13 – the date of the original season suspension – or to have all matches completed, even if that meant games being played in the months of June and July.

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The Fermanagh and Western League’s emergency committee responded this week by saying it preferred to play the season out to its natural conclusion.

Confirming that decision league president Sam Dennison said that the emergency committee had unanimously agreed that they should try and complete the season if possible.

“The members of the emergency committee had a very open and honest discussion about many suggestions,” he said.

“We had to pick an option and basically everyone went for option three. That was the general consensus.

“Basically we want to finish the season on the field if we can and that was unanimous.”

That decision would appear to be at odds with a number of other associations who are understood to favour option one – declaring the season null and void.

That, it seems, is the position of the Belfast-based Amateur League and it is believed that one or two other regional governing bodies would share a similar view. If that indeed is the case then it could be that the Fermanagh and Western finds itself very much in the minority.

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Mr Dennison acknowledged that there were different view points out there and accepted that in all likelihood the IFA would ultimately have the final say on the matter.

“I know by talking to at least one other league body they seemed to favour option one which is to void the season,” continued Mr Dennison.
“I get the impression that one or two others are thinking along similar lines.

“The IFA is consulting with all the leagues and getting their views before making their final decision.

“While we would prefer to finish the season the IFA will have the final say. Whatever they decide we will have to go with it.”

In the event that the Fermanagh and Western League season is extended then how long it will be extended by will be decided by the member clubs at a later date.

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