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Coronavirus causes suspension of Isthmian League, National League 1, Essex Senior League and Hertfordshire youth football




Bishop's Stortford Football Club will be without a game for the foreseeable future after the BetVictor Isthmian League suspended the competition due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Blues, whose last outing was a 1-0 home defeat to Enfield Town in the Premier Division on March 10, had their trip to East Thurrock United called off at the weekend.

The Isthmian League has now decided to suspend the competition, saying it was "the most critical decision made by this League since the fixtures were suspended in September 1939".

Bishop's Stortford FC are sidelined following the BetVictor Isthmian League suspension. Picture: Vikki Lince
Bishop's Stortford FC are sidelined following the BetVictor Isthmian League suspension. Picture: Vikki Lince

And Bishop's Stortford Rugby Club will be out of action in National League 1 until at least April 14 following the RFU's decision to suspend all levels of the game.

The FA, Premier League, EFL, FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship collectively agreed last week to postpone professional football in England until Friday April 3 at the earliest.

In a statement, Isthmian League chairman Nick Robinson said: "The consensus of opinion is that the decision to suspend was the right one and it will be more difficult to rule whether or not the season can be continued. Such a decision has to be taken in the light of all existing information.

Bishop's Stortford Rugby Club are currently without a game until at least April 14. Picture: Vikki Lince
Bishop's Stortford Rugby Club are currently without a game until at least April 14. Picture: Vikki Lince

"In the meantime, no decisions are being made about the league, about play-off matches or promotion and relegation. There is no information at present about financial support from either the FA or Government, but these are all ongoing concerns which we continue to voice. The only matter which is clear at present is that contract players need to be paid, unless those players agree not to be paid.

"The board hope that all connected with the league remain in good health."

BSRFC were due to entertain Old Elthamians this Saturday following an already-scheduled weekend off.

In a statement, club vice-chairman Niall McCrae said all fixtures and training is suspended until April 14 for the senior men's teams. Touch rugby and clubhouse activities are off until the same date.

Ladies', girls', youth and minis is likely to now resume in September.

"We wish all of our gugby family the best of health over the next few months," said McCrae. "Should there be any changes we will communicate as we receive them."

Meanwhile, the Essex Senior League has been suspended meaning Stansted, Takeley, Sawbridgeworth Town and the other 16 Premier Division clubs will now be sidelined until March 30 at the earliest..

Youth football has also been affected, with the Hertfordshire FA advising on Monday that all grassroots matches be postponed.

Bishop's Stortford Community Football Club had a quiet weekend after taking the decision that none of their Sunday matches in the Mid-Herts Rural Minors League would take place while Thorley Manor's games in the Royston Crow League were cancelled for at least two weeks.

A Hertfordshire FA statement said: "Following the Government's announcement for people to avoid social contact and gatherings where possible, we are now advising that all grassroots football in Hertfordshire is postponed for the foreseeable future.

"Throughout this period, we have followed Government advice with the priority being the health and wellbeing of all. We will continue to work closely with our stakeholders across the game during this time.

"The FA are in regular communication with the Government and the situation within English football at all levels remains under regular review. Further updates will follow as appropriate."


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