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Likely cancellation of Inverness and District Amateur Football season puts Maryburgh's title defence on hold

By Will Clark

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Maryburgh will have to wait until next year to defend their Premiership title as organisers are set to officially cancel the Inverness and District Amateur Football Association 2020 season next week.

IDAFA secretary Donnie Stuart says processes are being put in place to get clubs refunds on insurance and affiliation fees.

No final decision has been made on scrapping the 2020 season, but Stuart says time has run out on any football being played this summer.

“Only in my opinion, because it hasn’t been discussed by the committee yet, there will be no football in the IDAFA this year,” he said.

“With the need to get training organised along with the impact of social distancing, I can’t see any football being able to take place.”

Maryburgh’s Shaun Grant.
Maryburgh’s Shaun Grant.

He added: “We would also have to take into account hiring pitches for games to be played.

“We have been told insurance fees will be refunded because the season won’t take place.”

The league season was due to start at the end of March with 28 teams from Inverness, Inverness-shire, Nairn and Ross-shire competing across three divisions.

But grassroots football has been suspended since Friday, March 13 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Premiership football is set to start next weekend, with the Championship, League One and League Two set to start on October 17.

But no date has been given yet for when non-league football will be able to start in Scotland.

Stuart says the summer season only has a limited window left to play games due to a number of factors.

“A number of players who play in the amateur league also play for teams in the North Caledonian League,” he said.

“We have to finish our season while it is light enough to play football, which makes it difficult to stage this season.”

Stuart says it is hopeful that the summer league will be able to return to action next season.

Organisers have also said that it is doubtful that the Highland Amateur Cup, the biggest amateur football competition in the region, will be able to take place this year due to lack of time available.

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