No spectators will be permitted at any fixtures.Annie Huang

This week, the CUAFL has been able to confirm that college football will be returning in Easter Term 2021. The decision to resume college football comes after a 6-month absence, with the last fixtures having been played in the last weekend of October, prior to the second national lockdown in November.

However, the resumption comes under a number of conditions. Only first team fixtures will be completed and, of those, only the cup competitions – i.e. Cuppers and the Plate. This will mean that all six JCR leagues, as well as the Shield and Vase (the respective cup competitions for college second and third teams) will be abandoned for the 2020/21 season. However, the MCR league will be permitted to continue.

Fixtures will recommence with the completion of the remaining first-round Cuppers games, of which there are three: Downing vs Jesus, Fitzwilliam vs Trinity and Robinson vs Girton. These fixtures will take place on the weekend of 1st May.

The losing teams will join Peterhouse, St Catherine’s, Trinity Hall, Darwin, and Caius, all of whom lost their first-round games in Michaelmas, in the Plate competition. The eight second-round Cuppers games, and the four Plate quarter finals will take place from the weekend of the 8th May.

The remaining rounds have been scheduled in consecutive weeks, such that the Cuppers final will take place on 28th May at Grange Road. The final is set to be an evening kick-off without spectators, despite the hopes of the CUAFL that socially-distanced attendance might be possible. The University has equally decreed that no spectators will be permitted at college grounds.

Of the sides that remain in the Cuppers competition, nine come from the Premier League, seven from Division 2 and three from Division 3. The only Premier League side to have been knocked out already is Caius, who lost on penalties to fellow top-flight side Pembroke in October following a 3-3 draw.

The three Division 3 underdogs, all of whom received first-round byes, are Magdalene, Christ’s and Clare. Unless Fitzwilliam beat Trinity in their remaining first-round game, all three will have Second Division opposition, perhaps offering a shot at the quarter finals.