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Get ready for June

UEFA and FAI tell LOI to plan for return to action

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Hit hard: Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley

Hit hard: Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley

SPORTSFILE

Hit hard: Sligo Rovers manager Liam Buckley

League of Ireland clubs have been told by the FAI and UEFA to ignore the Premier League's April target for resumption of football activity and be ready for a three-month layoff.

And club officials will be advised today that June 19 is now the planned date for League of Ireland football returning.

But in the wake of Sligo Rovers confirming that they have temporarily laid off all staff at the club due to the financial impact of Covid-19, there was some good news for clubs here concerned about the potential loss of European money next summer.

UEFA have said they hope to start the qualification rounds for the Champions League and Europa League in July with only a slight delay, a huge relief to the four Irish clubs who are due to compete as the UEFA income is vital.

FAI officials met club reps from the National League Executive Committee yesterday and, based on advice to the FAI from UEFA, they feel conditions could allow for football to return in June.

Allowing for a mini pre-season ,which will be required to prepare players once they are allowed resume training after such a long break, June 19 is the new target date.

English football authorities said yesterday that football would not return before April 30 but a May restart is seen as wildly optimistic.