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Norfolk FA exploring possibility of finishing 2020/21 cup competitions

The Norfolk Football Association is not ruling out the possibility that this season’s cup competitions will be played to a conclusion.

Despite lower-level football being permitted to return on March 29 under plans to gradually lift the Covid-19 lockdown, the national FA decided last week to end leagues at Steps 3-6 with immediate effect.

The Anglian Combination League soon followed suit, with teams having now seen two seasons in a row erased from the record books.

Diss Town FC last won the Norfolk Senior Cup in 2005. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Diss Town FC last won the Norfolk Senior Cup in 2005. Picture: Mark Bullimore

However, the Norfolk FA are exploring how feasible it would be to restart their county tournaments, and have asked clubs for their feedback on the matter.

The deadline for responses was Wednesday evening, with a decision set to be reached in the near future.

“We’d like to finish them if we can,” said Matt Carpenter, the Norfolk FA’s football services manager.

“There are obviously an enormous amount of unknowns but the idea of the survey is to find out whether or not our clubs feel they could compete in the cups if they were able to return.

“There are a lot of factors to consider and we are awaiting guidance from the FA and DCMS. The restrictions might prohibit us, especially if spectators cannot attend games and things like that.

“We’ve had a pretty significant response from the clubs which is pleasing.

“Like I say, if we can finish the cups we’d really like to, but we will have to see what happens.”

Carpenter added that there would be no sanction for any club that felt they would be unable to take part, with a smaller number of sides potentially leading to re-draws, a reduction of rounds or walkovers.

The Norfolk Senior Cup second round was due to take place on January 23, with Diss Town drawn at home to lower-league Bradenham Wanderers.

Elsewhere, Harleston Town had been handed a home tie against Thurlow Nunn League First Division North outfit Fakenham Town, while East Harling and Scole United were dealt trips to UEA and Norwich CBS respectively.

As for Long Stratton, they were paired at home against Heacham.

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