FOOTBALL should be allowed to resume in Wales again.

The call was made by Football Association of Wales (FAW) chief executive Jonathan Ford in a meeting with other sports administrators on Thursday.

A virtual meeting of the Welsh Government Culture, Welsh Language and Communications committee investing the impact of Covid-19 on sport heard how all clubs in Wales had been impacted by the lockdown.

With sport resuming in other European countries, Mr Ford made the case for Welsh football returning.

Mr Ford said football leagues and clubs would need six weeks notice before the start of next season and urged the Welsh Government to consider the role sport in general and football in specific played in communities across the country.

Mr Ford also insisted the Welsh Government should not consider Welsh football as a source of mass gatherings which remain banned under lockdown regulations.

He said: "If you take Barry Town as a good example. They play at Jenner Park which is a 2,500-seater stadium but they're likely to get 500 people. In fact they would probably be delighted with 500 paying punters coming through the door.

"Yes 500 people is a large gathering in a confined space but in a large space, with social distancing, it arguably could be and should be permitted," he said. "Hopefully there are some solutions we can find together."

Mr Ford insisted Welsh football should not be compared to the English Football League which has resumed with Cardiff City and Swansea City funding their own testing programme to ensure the English Championship season is completed.

Such expense would not be achievable in Welsh football insisted the FAW chief executive who confirmed forthcoming meetings with football bodies had been scheduled to discuss the resumption of football across Europe.

Wales is among a handful of European countries where football has not returned since lockdown with a majority either playing behind closed doors or capped attendances.

Mr Ford insisted Welsh clubs could not play behind closed doors such was the reliance on gate receipts but hoped the Welsh Government would permit a phased return with a cap on attendances.