Waterford FC have become the first League of Ireland club to suspend training amidst the COVID-19 outbreak which has seen sport postponed across the world.
The Football Association of Ireland followed in the footsteps of the likes of the IRFU and the GAA in announcing the cancellation of all football under it’s jurisdiction on Thursday.
The statement released had no mention of cancelling training however Waterford have decided to take the measure, with manager Alan Reynolds outlining that the decision was taken after consultation with the club’s doctor.
“This morning I met with our club doctor Sinead Fitzpatrick to discuss the potential impact on player (and club officials) safety. After discussing this and taking on board the information from the FAI medical officer Alan Byrne, the decision has been made to suspend all training immediately for 12 days.
“On Wednesday the 24th of March will re-assess this decision based on the information provided by the government, FAI and UEFA. Players, fans and the wider public’s health must come first.
“Based on all information coming in to us, it seems to be the right thing to do. I would like to thank everyone for understanding and for your continued support. I am also aware of the Block E GoFundMe initiative set up to provide financial support for us in this difficult time. Thank you for being there again lads.”
March 29th is the date the FAI have set for a return but it is not yet known whether or not the break will extend past two weeks.
“The FAI made this decision after a meeting in Dublin today with Government, the Department of Health and stakeholders from other national sporting bodies.
“The decision has been taken in light of the growing threat posed by the COVID-19 outbreak and in the best interests of our players, coaches, volunteers, supporters and staff. This decision will be monitored on an ongoing basis.
“The FAI again met with representatives from the National League Executive Committee and the Professional Footballer’s Association of Ireland today, and continues to work with both bodies to help our clubs and players through this difficult time.
“The FAI remains in communication with the Department of Health and UEFA on COVID-19 and will continue to follow all government guidelines.”