Non-League is going into lockdown as The Non-League Paper hits newsstands today with the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak rising sharply and the Government set to ban sporting events and other “mass gatherings” within days.
The National League, National League North and South, BetVictor Northern Premier League and a selection of Step 5 and 6 divisions were the only football competitions in Britain to go ahead on Saturday under current Government advice.
However, only six of the 12 scheduled games in the National League took place while six of the 11 in National League North went ahead due to the virus impacting clubs with players and staff at a number self-isolating after showing symptoms of the virus.
The Northern Premier League saw just four games played in their top division with two postponed, incredibly, due to waterlogged pitches.
— The Non-League Paper (@NonLeaguePaper) March 13, 2020
The BetVictor Isthmian League’s board, who postponed yesterday’s matches plus those scheduled for midweek. will reconvene at 6pm on Monday to decide what date to put on the suspension.
Matches in the BetVictor Southern League were also postponed and no fixtures will take place this week or next weekend. Officials will meet on Friday 20 March to decide on restarting from Monday 23.
The suspensions came after the Football Association, the Premier League, the English Football League, FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship took matters into their own hands on Friday, all agreeing to suspend matches until April 3 despite the Government deciding not to ban sporting events.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now expected to make a U-turn and ban mass gatherings from next weekend, forcing the Non-League game into hibernation.
Every match that did go ahead is covered in Sunday’s NLP, along with all the latest news, reaction and league statements on the coronavirus crisis as clubs, players and fans brace for its full impact on sport and society.
Elsewhere, the spotlight is on the top two in the Combined Counties after they met yesterday as clubs and fans at Steps 5, 6 and 7 of football’s pyramid get their own pages of dedicated coverage too, including all their latest fixtures, results and tables.
The NLP’s news pages are the only place to get the big picture and top stories from across Non-League over the last seven days in one place.
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