THE management committee of Northern Ireland Intermediate League will make a decision on how they will finish the season later this evening (Thursday).
All seven member clubs have been balloted and their responses have to be submitted today so that the governing body can lodge its final decision with the IFA for ratification on Saturday .
Clubs including Strabane Athletic and Ardstraw initially indicated a desire to complete the season on the pitch but the publication of a five-point plan by the Northern Ireland Executive on Tuesday suggests the resumption of team sport is a considerable way down track.
Immediately following that announcement secretary of the NI Intermediate League Gerry Stewart again balloted member clubs.
“We have gone back to the clubs to get their views on the latest situation and we’ll take it from there. We will know where we stand by Thursday evening and on that basis we will make our final decision,” he said.
Mr Stewart was reluctant to speculate what clubs might decide to do or indeed what the committee’s consensus was on the way forward.
There is however a growing acceptance that there will not be a resumption of football in the North at all levels.
The North West Junior League cancelled their league competitions on Monday, on the same day that the Fermanagh and Western League also took the decision to bring the curtain down on their season by using a points average per game formula with promotion and no relegation. Trophies will be awarded based on the final league calculations.
Mid Ulster League clubs had until yesterday (Wednesday) to make their submissions although the league body had recommended calling it a day and again deciding league positions on a points average basis.
The Irish Football Association has said there is unlikely to be an extension to the current season beyond July 31 and factoring in the government five-point plan it’s impossible to see how there can be a resumption of football.
It would also be difficult for the NI Intermediate League to do anything other than cancel their competition given that there is only one division and hence no relegation.
Furthermore their season hasn’t reached the halfway stage yet. Dungiven Celtic are currently leading the way having played seven games with Newbuildings second having won all four of their games thus far.
Posted: 5:30 pm May 14, 2020