England's National League to continue, sixth-tier season scrapped

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(Reuters) - The National League, the fifth-tier of English football, will play out the remainder of the 2020-21 season but the sixth-tier North and South divisions have been declared null and void, organisers said on Thursday.

Members in the two tiers below the English Football League were invited to vote on how to resolve the season after a number of clubs indicated they would not be able to continue due to increased financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The non-league sides have been struggling without the matchday income as fans are unable to attend matches.

A minimum 51% majority of clubs was required for the National League season to be halted but only seven of 23 clubs voted in favour of stopping.

The vote in the sixth tier went 24-19 in favour of terminating the current campaign, ending competition with immediate effect.

"The board will take the resolution outcome to the Football Association for ratification," organisers said in a statement. "This will include dialogue regarding promotion and relegation."

(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)