The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has said that that schoolboy leagues can return to a traditional September to May schedule.

Following consultation with the Schoolboys Football Association of Ireland and the FAI board, the FAI has backed down on plans for the seasons to run over the summer months after it was met with resistance.

The March-October season, favoured by FAI High Performance Director Ruud Dokter, has not proven successful and just last month the Dublin and District Schoolboys’ League confirmed it would revert to a traditional calendar.

In a statement this evening, the FAI has acknowledged the issues raised due to summer scheduling.

"The Board of the FAI is aware that a number of SFAI affiliate leagues have had difficulty implementing trophy football in the calendar season and feel their leagues would be better equipped to deliver trophy football by following the winter season in line with the school calendar," the statement read.

"Following discussions between the FAI and the SFAI, the Board of the FAI have agreed the following:

  • Any underage league currently playing in the calendar season or about to implement calendar season football may continue to do so
  • Those leagues currently playing in calendar season that have faced serious challenges may consider a return to the winter season
  • Leagues currently playing in the winter season may continue to do so
  • SFAI competitions will remain in their current format

The FAI added that a committee is to be established to examine the matter further.