The Football Association of Ireland and the National League Executive Committee have earmarked the third week in June for the resumption of SSE Airtricity League football in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A tele-conference involving all 19 League of Ireland clubs has targeted the weekend beginning 19 June for matches to recommence, with a shortened season to run until 11 December.

The plan is based around UEFA guidelines on a return to club action across Europe, as presented to the FAI last Tuesday. This decision will see the Premier Division and the First Division of the SSE Airtricity League resume on the weekend commencing Friday, 19 June.  

The Premier Division will finish on Friday, 4 December and the SSE Airtricity League season will close on Friday, 11 December, with the second leg of the promotion/relegation play-off. 

The FAI Cup Final will go ahead as scheduled on 1 November, while the EA SPORTS Cup will be deferred.

The Premier Division has been reduced to 27 games in total with the new schedule requiring the cancellation of the final round of fixtures, while the First Division clubs will "examine the possibility" of fulfilling their entire schedule.

This week Sligo Rovers took the decision to temporarily laid off all their staff in an attempt to protect long-term employment amid uncertainty surrounding the League of Ireland's return date due.

"These are very difficult times for our clubs and players and the FAI remains committed to doing everything we can to get us all through this crisis together," FAI Competitions Director Fran Gavin said

"There are no certainties around the Covid-19 pandemic but this decision offers us something to aim for. UEFA hope to have European football back up and running by early June at the latest so June 19 is a realistic target for us at this moment in time.

"Together with the clubs and the Professional Footballer's Association of Ireland, we will work together towards this date and continue to liaise with the NLEC and the PFAI to protect our clubs and players as best we can.

"The FAI will continue to work with the Department of Health and the HSE to prioritise the health of our players, match officials, supporters and staff at this time and we will continue to follow all government guidelines."