A FOOTBALL Association of Wales decision to relax rules imposed during the recent ‘fire-break’ has met with a cool reception from a number of clubs in the Costcutter Ceredigion League.

No football activity whatsoever was permitted during the 17-days lockdown but the FAW has re-instated Phase 3 of it’s Safer Return to Play Protocols.

The latest development means clubs can take part in friendly games against teams from their own league and training can also resume.

Some clubs have arranged friendlies while others are reluctant to take part until it is known if and when the 2020-2021 season is going to start.

Under FAW protocols all clubs must appoint a Covid-19 compilation officer and everyone involved must be temperature-tested.

Participants are to observe social distancing during breaks in play, while coaching staff and team substitutes must spread out and avoid sharing a dug-out or bench.

Water bottles or other refreshment containers must not be shared and only people from one household permitted to travel together in a vehicle to games.

Fist-bumps and spitting on the pitch are forbidden, throw-ins will be replaced by pass-ins and there are to be no spectators.

As for clubs taking part in indoor training the numbers involved will depend on the nature of the facility, while coaches, first-aiders and team helpers must wear face coverings and there will not be any indoor matches.

Reigning Costcutter champions St Dogmaels stalwart Steve Jerry Williams has reservations about the whole set-up and whether it is worthwhile clubs going to such lengths to play football.

“I don’t like it one iota and although I appreciate we are in unprecedented times I hardly think the measures introduced will be acceptable to a lot of people,” he said.

“As far as our club is concerned, we will not be permitted to play home games because we will not be allowed to use our changing facilities at St Dogmaels Memorial Hall,” he said.

Cardigan Town chairman Seamus Doherty has no doubt what the answer is - cancel the season and start a new campaign in July next year with a break during the Christmas period.

“I don’t know why they are bothering going to all these lengths because the 2020-2021 season is not going to get off the ground and it would be better for all concerned to scrap it now,” he said.

Promoted Division Two champions New Quay manager Charles Harvey said the Seasiders would not be arranging friendlies until they have more information in relation to a possible start to the season.

“There is such a significant amount of administration involved, including the use of showers etc that it is just not worthwhile. When we are informed of a season starting date we will play friendlies but not as the position stands at the moment,” he said.

Lampeter Town boss Terry Jones said: “I think the league programme has gone for this season. Friendlies are not the same as competitive matches but we are in these strange times and have to hope for the best.”

Llanboidy said that they intended playing practice games within their own club while other teams are keeping tabs on the situation and uncertain about the future.

With the possibility of a new season becoming a non-starter, Costcutter League chairman John Jones said: “I believe the season should be scrapped and a new start made next summer.”

An FAW spokesperson said: “The Phase 3 protocol remains subject to the latest Public Health Wales and Welsh Government policy and guidelines related to Covid-19.

“Due to the changing nature of the guidelines clubs should keep abreast of Covid-19 updates issued by the Welsh Government."