THE Welsh Government has asked for continued patience from football clubs.

All but 16 clubs in Wales have not kicked a ball since the United Kingdom went into lockdown at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March.

Since frustrations have grown among clubs and supporters with a host of petitions launched and signed by thousands calling for the season to start.

However the Welsh Government has insisted public health will continue to be its top priority after the second Welsh lockdown ends next week.

A spokesman said: "Following the Welsh Government announcement on November 2, detailing the guidelines that will be in place following the end of the lockdown, the FAW’s Safer Return to Play Protocols for Phase three will be reinstated from Monday, November 9.

"This will result in the resumption of inter-club friendly matches for senior, youth, junior and small sided football and other formats.

“The health and safety of players, officials and the public is absolutely paramount and we will not put that at risk.

“As soon as it is safe to restart football in the different leagues in Wales, we will do so.

"We have provided guidance for the safe return of sport and we are working with Sport Wales and governing bodies in Wales on the safe return to play.

However the Welsh Government has conceded its schedule of pilot events to include spectators at indoor and outdoor settings has been scrapped due to growing coronavirus cases across Wales.

The spokesman added:"We do understand this is a very difficult time for the sector and we will continue to work in partnership towards a safe return for spectators, when the time is right.