Sligo/Leitrim clubs vote to abandon summer soccer plans

Sligo/Leitrim’s youth soccer clubs have voted overwhelmingly against moving to a summer football season next year.

Tuesday night’s AGM saw 92% of the club delegates vote in a favour of maintaining the traditional soccer season of September to May. Just 8% supported a move to summer soccer.

Sligo/Leitrim’s decision comes in the wake of a recent clarification by the Football Association of Ireland that schoolboy and schoolgirl leagues could return to a traditional September to May schedule.

The FAI had initially issued a directive that leagues should move to a summer soccer or ‘calendar’ season.

But those plans met with resistance with the Dublin and District Schoolboys’ League confirming it would revert to a traditional calendar.

Last month, an FAI statement acknowledged the issues raised due to summer scheduling.

“The Board of the FAI is aware that a number of SFAI affiliate leagues have had difficulty implementing trophy football in the calendar season and feel their leagues would be better equipped to deliver trophy football by following the winter season in line with the school calendar,” the statement read.

“Following discussions between the FAI and the SFAI, the Board of the FAI have agreed the following:

Any underage league currently playing in the calendar season or about to implement calendar season football may continue to do so
Those leagues currently playing in calendar season that have faced serious challenges may consider a return to the winter season
Leagues currently playing in the winter season may continue to do so
SFAI competitions will remain in their current format