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Match Postponement Process

Postponements are challenges we face every year and are faced by every sport that plays outdoors be it professional or amateur.

Like everybody else, the EFL wants to see games of football played, but in the winter months, adverse weather presents challenges across the country and can make it unsafe for games to go ahead.

If there is the prospect of the pitch being unplayable, the home Club should make early contact with the visiting Club to understand the travelling arrangements of their team and supporters, and also the match referee to let them know an early inspection may be required and also to confirm their current travel arrangements.

If a very early inspection is required due to extreme weather conditions (e.g. on Friday for a Saturday afternoon match) the EFL will usually arrange for a PGMOL Match Official more local to the vicinity of the home ground to make an inspection, and a decision on whether to postpone the game will be made by the EFL based on the report of the local referee.

It is the responsibility of the Club to raise any potential issues with the EFL as early as possible, so a referee assessment can be arranged if necessary.

It is not permissible for a Club to make a decision to postpone a match and Clubs are not permitted to invite anyone other than the match referee to make an inspection.

Any decision to postpone a game on the day of the match rests with the match referee. If parts of the surface are unplayable, or pose a potential risk of injury to participants, any decision to postpone will be made taking those factors into consideration with player safety the priority.

The above procedures are in place to try and find a balance in giving those attending enough notice to amend their travelling plans and also to give a fixture enough of chance for it to take place as scheduled.

Changing weather and changing conditions of the pitch often means it isn’t practical to postpone a fixture too far in advance –– The EFL will always work with Clubs and match officials to try and make these decisions as early as possible.

We are fully aware about the impact postponements have on travelling fans and where possible, early postponements will be implemented where it is clear that the game has no chance of taking place.

We want fixtures to take place and supporters want to be in the stadium following their teams but that can only be when it is safe to do so.