FC Buffalo was informed late Wednesday that the National Premier Soccer League’s board of directors voted unanimously to cancel the 2020 summer season as currently constructed given the uncertainty stemming for the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
So what does that mean for FC Buffalo?
Let’s start with the bad news. Those games against Rochester, Syracuse, Cleveland, and Erie are gone. The idea of competing for an NPSL National Championship is cooked. We had already postponed or canceled three unannounced April friendlies that would’ve given us a leg up on the summer, as well as a banner fan event which we believe had the potential to be a long-term tradition.
And let’s acknowledge the worse news: Our world is dealing with a terrible foe in COVID-19. Whatever soccer-related items we can share our secondary to our hopes that you are giving us a new kind of home-field advantage by staying safe in your homes. We love all of you. There’s no one we’d rather have on our side.
Now, the light at the end of the tunnel…
We respect our league’s decision and acknowledge that COVID-19 is challenging all lower league clubs in a very real and frightening way. Clubs that have analyzed their situation and see no fruitful 2020 have a responsibility to act in their best interest and the interest of their communities. A club is no good for anyone if it doesn’t exist.
We are no different, but our priority is to play when it’s deemed safe for our players, our supporters, and our community. We held calls with our players and staff late Wednesday, and the resounding and positive response was, “Well, okay, just tell us when and we’ll be there.”
We’re fortunate that there are a number of teams in our league and other leagues that feel the same. We are working to put together conditional fixture dates and competitions amongst other plans. Though the dates for competition are delayed, there’s excitement at being with you when the worst part of this battle is won. We can’t know when that is, and if insuring the safety of the most vulnerable costs the sporting world a longer absence than we will address it.
As far as sports can be a necessity in this world, we need to get the band back together. One of our players messaged that he “needs this.” We’re all aching to be back in the world.
We agree: Our club needs this. Stay strong and we’ll see you as soon as it’s safe.
For our city,
Nick Mendola and the crew at FC Buffalo
P.S. In the meantime, we’d love to see photos of you and yours in FCB gear or from games/occasions past. Share them to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, whatever, and tag FC Buffalo. And look out for some fun in-house (literally) announcements and interactive fun soon.
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