The 2021 League of Ireland season has been delayed until March as a result of COVID-19 concerns.
As a result, the commencement of the Premier Division season will not begin until after St Patrick’s Day on 19 March.
The First Division date has also been changed, to the slightly later date of 26 March.
“These dates are, of course, subject to the changing public health guidelines and advice from Government agencies,” League of Ireland director Mark Scanlon wrote in a statement sent to 19 clubs across both divisions on Saturday evening.
“This prudent approach, agreed with your NLEC representatives, was taken in the best interests of the safety of all concerned and we remain committed to respecting Government Guidelines with the same respect which allowed us to finish the 2020 season.”
In October 2020, it emerged that four different LOI teams had detected cases of COVID-19 among their ranks.
The fact that four players from Shamrock Rovers tested positive did not stop the team, however, from being crowned League of Ireland champions for the 18th time, leading to Cork City being relegated to First Division.
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