AN OPEN LETTER To Whom it may concern.
I write to you as a fan of a game, a game played by 250 million people worldwide in 200 different countries. A game called Football in the UK, and Soccer (I know right) in other places. Grassroots Football holds an extremely important place in our society. Often the only release for Adults and Children in their lives. Our physical and mental health relies on our participation in the game, all week just itching to get out on their local park or recreation ground to see friends and burn off the previous week’s frustrations. To have this taken away by COVID-19 has not only taken our Football Family’s hobby and passion from them, but its also cost communities a meeting place, children a safe place to get exercise and be free, also men and women their 3 hours a week of not having to be Mum or Dad. Initially I completely agreed with the postponement of the game. It seemed sensible. But then, the pubs reopened yesterday and something really got my goat. I’m not against pubs opening, not by any stretch. I’m not adverse to a few too many pints of the black stuff, but I am adverse to outright hypocrisy and double standards. How can we encourage pubs to open with hundreds of people crammed into the pub itself or surrounding street, standing shoulder to shoulder, but tell our clubs they should be limited to 6 participants and maintain distance in open spaces? How can scores of people cram into a pub the size of a 5-a-side pitch be allowed, but 23 people can’t participate in a game played in the open air on a field 4/5 times bigger than your average boozer? Grassroots football cannot wait to spend money on their pitch permits. They cannot wait to buy their new boots, shin pads, sock tape and deep heat. They will put their money behind a bar to celebrate or commiserate the outcome of their game. I ask you as a participant and fan of the purist form of football, Grassroots, to stop thinking about cash, and think about the wellbeing of the people of our country. Gyms and Grassroots sports pushed to the back of the queue whilst pubs, cinemas and hairdressers get the go ahead? Give us our football back, as it should be. Complete and whole. Larger local clubs are dying, just like pubs. Smaller independent teams are folding, just like restaurants. Have a think, give your head a wobble. Just a thought. Yours in Sport, on behalf of the Grassroots community, SELK Grassroots – Podcast Network