Belgium mulling possible September restart

The Belgian American Football League, BAFL, is considering a return to the field.

The BAFL postponed all play March 13, along with the rest of Europe, just a couple of games into the 2020 season.

In a statement issued  Monday, June 1, to all the clubs in Belgium, the BAFL, following board meetings on May 28 and May 31, outlined the various scenarios in which football could be played this year.

    • A complete and 100% confirmed restart of the competition is at this point impossible to schedule. There are too many uncertain factors that cannot be taken into the equation to have a foolproof plan. At this moment the 2020 Senior competition remains officially suspended.
    • We do however unanimously agree that a national alternative has to be provided to give perspective to those clubs that still have a clear demand and desire to play in the fall.
    • This alternative provided is not obligatory for all Belgian clubs. Any club that cannot join will not be “punished” in any way.
    • This alternative should have a clear deadline to decide so clubs that want to participate can plan accordingly.
    • The alternative provided (a form of competition, exact duration, start/end, …) will be decided after we have a clear perspective on the number of clubs willing to participate.
    • If the alternative can indeed be played, clubs need sufficient time to practice and prepare (6 weeks minimum) and to undertake practical organization (field, accommodation, …).
    • Two non-negotiable dates/parameters are set in place.
    • The alternative will only be played when: A. by July 15th, the Belgian government gives approval and green light that practice for contact sports is allowed without restrictions. B. by July 15th, the Belgian government gives approval that from September 15th onwards games can be played.
    • If these parameters are not met, the 2020 Senior Championship will be officially cancelled and planning for 2021 will start. No alternatives will be provided on a national or regional level.
    • For flag football, we adopt the following approach: if tackle football is approved by July 15th, the flag football Championship can proceed as planned (first game to be played in September, see flag calendar). If no tackle football is allowed, we will have a second evaluation in late August. If flag football is possible at that moment, the first gameday for flag football will be moved to October.

Coronavirus situation i Belgium

Belgium has one of the highest rates of death due to the coronavirus in the world. There have been a total of 58,517 cases recorded in Belgium with 9,486 deaths attributed to the virus which is 819 per million population. However, there has been a steep decline in cases and deaths throughout the month of May and this downward trend seems to be holding. The country is gradually returning to normal as lockdown measures have eased. Under certain restrictions, stores, schools, hairdressers and beauticians have reopened their businesses, and museums, zoos, and libraries have reopened their doors. Bars and restaurants can return to normal service June 8.

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