Serbia sets a season start date – but without imports, unless they live ‘next door’

There will be football in Serbia this year, with some restrictions.

In keeping with the instructions laid out by the Serbian Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Sports Federation of Serbia, the Serbian Association of American Football, SAAF, (Srpska Asocijacija Američkog Fudbala) has scheduled a season with a start date of September 5/6.

Teams have until midnight June 30 to apply.

The season in Serbia had been scheduled to start in late March before the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation.

There are limitations to the season. The key restriction is it seems that teams will not be allowed to use imports and non-home-grown players from countries not bordering on or surrounding Serbia. This eliminates in particular American imports. This bordering country rule has been added to allow these players to easily return to their home countries in the event of an emergency health situation.

Branko Vucinic, president of SAAF:

“In recent weeks, through intensive talks with representatives of SAAF member clubs, and following the advice and instructions of the COVID-19 Crisis Staff, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Sports Federation of Serbia, we worked to find answers to the question that has put the most pressure on our sports community. With great pleasure, I can say that the beginning of the season, that is. the start date of the competition in the autumn season is definitely set. Of course, we will continue to closely monitor the constantly changing health and safety situation, and the absolute priority remains the health of participants in sports activities. This year, imports and non-home-grown players will not participate in the competitions under the jurisdiction of SAAF, but only players from the surrounding countries. If the emergency situation from the previous period is repeated, these players could easily return to their countries, while due to the possible suspension of air traffic, this would not be the case for import and non-home-grown players. That is why we adopted the decision that this season the teams will perform without imports, precisely because of the uncertain and changing health and safety situation.”




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