Budleigh football facing a moral dilemma

Braunton v Budleigh Salterton in the Devon Football League North and East Division. Picture: Matt Sm

Braunton v Budleigh Salterton in the Devon Football League North and East Division. Picture: Matt Smart - Credit: Matt Smart

The overwhelming and understandable desire for local football to find a way back to normality is competing with the far bigger issues that have arisen from Covid-19. 
It has obviously been a very difficult time for local clubs and football is often seen as the ‘escape’ people depend on when life presents new challenges. 
Budleigh Salterton Football Club, like many others, will be grappling with the balance between football and safety as the current lockdown situation evolves. 
“Our big worry is the moral dilemma against the desire to play football,” said Budleigh chairman Matt Hughes. 
“We want to play football and to keep the game going for our young boys and girls, as well as our adult teams for men and women. 
“We are also fully aware of the mental health aspect because football is a release and there are people who have been furloughed, or made redundant, during the pandemic. 
“Football is a bigger thing than just winning and losing, it is an escape. At the same time, we are in a position at the moment where East Devon has a lot of Covid cases. 
“We don’t want to deprive people of football but we obviously don’t want to put anyone in danger. 
“It is really difficult to see the path forward at present and the only option for Budleigh Salterton FC at the moment is to keep an open mind and see how things develop. 
“The Covid protocols that I wrote prior to the season are regularly updated and can always be reviewed. 
“You can understand the difficulty facing local football when you see that a lot of staff at the Devon FA, our governing body, have been furloughed, or working from home. 
“It makes things even harder for them to make decisions and it will ultimately come down to the national lawmakers to tell us what we can and cannot do. 
“When that positions becomes clearer, we can find a way forward that works for our football club. 
“I also work in education, so I am aware of how rapidly things can change in all walks of life.” 

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