FC Isle of Man’s first ever competitive fixture could be against AFC Liverpool at the Bowl following the draw for the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Vase earlier today.
The Football Association have stated that all cup competitions will go ahead, behind closed doors if necessary. The game is scheduled to take place on 19th September, subject to Isle of Man border restrictions.
Coming off the back of FC Isle of Man’s inaugural friendly against Guernsey FC last weekend, the chance to play the club’s first ever competitive fixture could be another remarkable occasion in FC Isle of Man’s extremely short history.
FC Isle of Man’s Director of Football Paul Jones, while delighted with the draw, is also extremely cautious about the chances of fulfilling the fixture in the current environment.
While the FA have stated that games can go ahead without crowds. We will need to discuss with all the relevant parties whether it is possible to fulfil the fixture. Much will depend on the Isle of Man Government’s border policy review which is due on August 31 and whether we can sufficiently mitigate any potential risks.
We will require both a robust process and risk action plan in place that protects our players and coaches, the wider Island community and any visiting team. The health and wellbeing of our community is paramount, and we could only go ahead with such a fixture if we are confident that the appropriate measures are in place and with the agreement of the IOM Government and Public Health.
If the game can go ahead, it could be classed as a local derby. AFC Liverpool are a relatively new club being founded as recently as 2008.
They play in the North West Counties League (NWCL) Division One North.
The Little Reds were promoted to the NWCL Premier Division in 2011 and were subsequently relegated back to Division One in 2018. They narrowly missed out on promotion back to the Premier League in 2019.
Like all clubs in the steps five and six of the NWCL, their 2019-20 season was deemed null and void following the Covid 19 outbreak earlier this year.
FC Isle of Man hope to make a further statement on this possible fixture in due course.