THE chairman of Fife Soccer 7s has said there remain "more questions than answers" over whether it will return this year.

Andi Campbell confirmed that dialogue is ongoing with the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and Scottish Youth Football Association (SYFA) about the popular youth initiative kicking-off from next month.

Normally, the Soccer 7s – which is held at Pitreavie between March and November – attracts more than 1,500 children to play over a weekend.

Recently, the SFA announced in their latest grassroots football update that local friendly games are planned to resume from Saturday September 12 while adhering to coronavirus protocols.

In June, Campbell suggested that a return for the Soccer 7s could prove difficult and, speaking to Press Sport, he explained that they would face more difficulties as opposed to two teams coming together to play a match.

But he insists that he and his fellow committee members were "going through every scenario" to determine whether a return was possible while keeping everyone safe.

"We're in dialogue with the SFA and SYFA via Zoom meetings and emails so there's more questions than answers just now," he commented.

"That's the frustrating part of it; everybody wants to play football but, before you can play football, folk have got to realise that parents can't go and watch games.

"We're having a meeting with the Soccer 7s committee to say, look, here's the scenarios, we've got to get all this in place. We've got to look at staggered times; we normally have three age groups in on a Saturday, and three on a Sunday, but I think we may struggle to do that.

"The timings of the games will be staggered. There will be a break in between because the equipment – the goals, corner flags and everything – have all got to be sterilised again. We've got to have an exit or an entrance for players to go down to the pitch, and then an exit for them to come off.

"There's a lot of things we've got to go through but we're still waiting. Although the SFA have given us the protocol for matchdays, we still have to go through the process of putting a lot of things in place, certainly at Pitreavie.

"It's alright if you've got a wee pitch of your own – that's easy enough to control – but with the volume we've got up here, it's going to be hard.

"There certainly is a lot of talking to be done prior to them saying, 'Right, you can go ahead'."

Campbell said that while some clubs had expressed interest in a possible return, others have suggested that the Soccer 7s should be called off for this year.

He continued: "I'm not wanting just to call it off; I want to make sure we've covered every base and eventuality before we make decisions.

"We're wanting the bairns to play football but, can we do this, because of the volume of people? That's a big ask for the Soccer 7s.

"If it's mid-October, we've only got six weeks until the season ends and you've got to ask the question, is it worth it?

"You try to go above and beyond for health and safety but, sometimes, you may just have to say we can't do this.

"There's a lot of things that we've got to sit down and discuss. Ultimately, if it's going to be too risk-averse, we may reluctantly have to call it a day and let everybody play friendlies.

"But we're going through every scenario because we want them to play."

Prior to the return of friendly matches that were played on Saturday, the SFA's grassroots chair, Thomas McKeown, said: "We have been on a journey together throughout lockdown and this stage provides us with a great opportunity to return to matchplay.

"To enable us all to move to stage three of the route map, all clubs have to continue to follow the Return to Play guidance, otherwise we will not be able to move forward.

"I am sure that many of us thought it might be 2021 before we would be able to take these positive steps forward, which can only be done with the hard work and support of the whole football family."