Mark Gannon: “Coronavirus Could Set Women’s Football Back Years”

The women’s game has made a big curve since the Coronavirus pandemic started in March, with the FA suspending the 2019/20 season and not giving full support to focusing fully to the WSL (Women’s Super League) and the outstanding signings made by the league in the past weeks.

Still, even if it seems the situation has changed from “worse” to “ideal” in the last months, according to UK Coaching Chief Executive, Mark Gannon, the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic could set girls’ and women’s football back a decade.

The Coaching Chief Executive insists action must be taken to ensure the number of coaches – and players – especially in the women’s game, is not allowed to diminish as clubs and facilities count the cost of lockdown.

“The biggest fear is that this (pandemic) pushes us back 10 years,” Gannon said.

UK Coaching on Twitter: "“We face challenges like never before and we are  working hard to do everything that we can to support you.” Our CEO, Mark  Gannon, calls on coaches to
Gannon, alongside UK Coaching, is working closely with the FA to encourage more women and girls to get involved in the game.

“We had such momentum in the girls’ and women’s game leading into the pandemic, and I’m not sure we had enough coaches and volunteers in the first place. Quite rightly, people are going to be concerned about their own positions given the pandemic, and the fear is that we lose some of those people to the women’s game.

“We won’t really know what the impact is until people start coming back, but clearly there are a lot of things going on in people’s lives.

“It (the girls’ and women’s game) is more susceptible because it’s not so well established. Hopefully we won’t lose that momentum, and it is important we make it as easy as possible to coach in a safe and active environment.”

Local football has been allowed to resume this month, although, a surge in infections in the UK has raised fresh fears of restrictions. A fear that could reach higher women’s game divisions like the Women’s Super League or the Championship, who could face another a turnaround like at the start of the pandemic.

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