THE FAI have announced that the 2021 Airtricity League Premier and First Division seasons have been delayed until March 19th at the earliest. It is a worrying time for Airtricity League clubs as the return of supporters to stadiums is highly unlikely for many months due to the recent upsurge in Covid-19 cases.
The Premier Division has been given a provisional start date of March 19th while the First Division would begin a week later. However, even those dates are not confirmed and are marred with uncertainty at present. Last season’s Premier Division campaign began on February 14th, before later being suspended for a period due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
Upon the return of the league, all games were played behind closed doors with an online streaming service called Watchloi.ie being set up to make games available to view for supporters at a cost of €5.
In normal circumstances, pre-season would begin in the next fortnight for every Airtrictiy League club. However, today’s announcement has put plans into disarray. The situation does not help the licensing committee and the likes of hopefuls Treaty United and Limerick FC in their planning process.