Council say ‘game on’ for local football this weekend

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Sheffield City Council will allow clubs to decide whether to play scheduled games on their pitches this weekend.

Sports administration officer David Judge has contacted clubs to inform them the council has decided against suspending football matches this weekend, despite the prevailing wintery conditions of the past week.

But Judge has warned clubs against attempting to play games on unsuitable pitches, in a bid to protect playing surfaces against damage which could affect them for the rest of the season.

He wrote: “I am writing to inform you that despite the recent inclement weather conditions, the Parks and Countryside Service has decided against suspending football matches this weekend, Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th January 2015.

“I would point out, however, that some football pitches might not be fit for match play and may not have been marked out. Where this is apparent, please ensure your match is cancelled.

“This will allow the pitch to recover and enable it to sustain fixtures for the remainder of the season.

“Failure to cancel a fixture on an unsuitable pitch surface will cause damage which will not be possible to rectify during the season and, in certain cases, may result in the pitch being unsuitable for any further matches.

“If your pitch is unfit, do not transfer the fixture to an alternative pitch. This will result in your club facing disciplinary action.

“Whilst the Parks and Countryside Service is allowing referees to decide on the condition of the pitch surface, I would point out that certain schools may decide to suspend the use of their own pitches.

“Remember that the safety of players and officials is of the utmost importance.”