ALL matches MUST now be played home or away on whatever pitch is available…
WE ARE NOT SAYING THAT A MATCH MUST BE PLAYED IF THE PITCH IS NOT FIT AND IS NOT SAFE BUT WHAT WE ARE SAYING IS THAT IF THERE IS A PITCH THAT IS BOTH FIT & AVAILABLE, BE IT THE HOME TEAMS PITCH OR THE AWAY TEAMS PITCH, EVERY EFFORT MUST BE MADE TO PLAY THE MATCH.
WE HAVE HAD REPORTS OF TEAMS REFUSING TO REVERSE A FIXTURE EVEN THOUGH THERE IS A FIT PITCH AVAILABLE TO PLAY ON. IT IS TO THOSE PEOPLE THAT WE SAY “PLEASE DON’T COMPLAIN IF YOU HAVE A FIXTURE BACKLOG IN MARCH/APRIL/MAY”. WE HOPE THAT MAKES IT CLEAR.
In an effort to prevent an even worse potential fixture backlog, if the home teams pitch is not fit then the fixture MUST be played on the away teams pitch (obviously, this is assuming that the away teams pitch is both fit & available) – It does not matter if a team has already played a particular opponent away, the fixture MUST be reversed if at all possible.
This is covered in our rules (Page 19):
Rule 10(C) states “Every effort however must be made by both clubs to play a fixture on the original date whether that is on the ground of the home team, their opponents or on a neutral ground.”