A POTENTIALLY significant step in the return of local football will be made this afternoon when the Football Association meets with several representatives from the English non-league pyramid.

English football's governing body is due to meet via conference call with officials from leagues at steps five and six of the National League System on Friday afternoon to discuss the safe return of the non-league game ahead of the 2020/21 season.

The agenda for the meeting, which will be attended by a representative for the South West Peninsula League – of which Falmouth Town, Helston Athletic, Porthleven and Wendron United are all members – is set to include scenario planning for the 2020/21 season and guidance on measures that may need to be in place to enable a return.

All amateur football in England has been suspended since March 16 with all leagues within steps three to seven of the non-league pyramid subsequently being declared null and void.

Today's significant step follows Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden's pledge during Wednesday's daily Government briefing to get grassroots sport back up and running "in July at the very earliest".

Mr Dowden said: "I know countless people are itching to get back to their gyms and leisure centres, to their five-a-side leagues and all their other normal fitness activities.

"We’re working closely with the sector to get grassroots and community sport back up and running as soon as it is safe to do so, with an aim of the start of July at the very earliest."

Current Government guidance restricts football clubs to training in small groups of no more than six people with social distancing to be practised at all times.

Friday's meeting marks 100 days since Falmouth Town and Helston Athletic's most recent games on March 11, while 104 days have passed since either Wendron United or Porthleven last played.