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FFA extends postponement of the Hyundai A-League
Although Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today re-confirmed its intention to resume the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season as soon as possible, a number of criteria have been identified that need to be satisfied before a firm date for the resumption could be set. Those criteria include the sustainable provision of:
- Player and staff Health and Safety threshold requirements
- State and Federal border restrictions being lifted
- Large gathering restrictions allowing for the required squads and support staff to gather
- Social distancing protocols being agreed with governments to allow the holding of professional games
The FFA confirmed that it is in ongoing dialogue with government health authorities on all of these elements with thresholds for activation being identified.
The FFA has stated that any recommencement would require an initial period of training and conditioning for club squads in order to ensure both the health and safety of the Hyundai A-League’s elite players and the integrity of the competition.
Unlike the NRL which has committed to restarting its season on 28th May, FFA considers that it would be difficult to resume play before the end of May.
FFA Chief Executive James Johnson advises “we will resume play as soon as possible, and the first stage would see the players return to training. We would then schedule matches. It is difficult to see that process beginning before the end of May, but we will work with all stakeholders to achieve the earliest possible resumption.
Johnson noted there was agreement between the FFA and the clubs that the season would be completed, “our goal is to deliver live, professional football and complete the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season, and we have set a number of criteria that will define when this is going to be possible.
“Our priority remains the health and safety of all players and staff and we will need to be satisfied that appropriate measures are in place to ensure this. Secondly, we will need to meet all government restrictions in place at the time, including state/territory border controls. Finally, any decision to resume will be made in full alignment with Government and its medical advisors.
“Football takes its responsibilities as a good corporate citizen very seriously, and remains committed to working in partnership with the Government to slow the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, we want to play our part in supporting the social and mental wellbeing of the Australian football family and all sports-loving Australians.
“Ultimately, the Coronavirus will have the final say on when we can get the season started again, and completed.
“We want to thank the clubs and players who have been understanding of the current circumstances and worked collaboratively with us in relation to this matter throughout this period. I would also like to acknowledge our supporters, commercial partners and football community who continue to remain engaged and connected during this difficult time, and we thank them for their continued support.
FFA advise that they will continue to work with clubs as well as broadcasters and will provide a further update in May 2020.
30th March 2020 - FFA announces 70% staff cut due to COVID-19
24th March 2020 - FFA announces suspension of A-League season
17th March 2020 - FFA suspends grassroots football
15th January 2020 - New FFA Chief Executive sets out priorities at first press conference
6th December 2019 - FFA confirms appointment of new Chief Executive James Johnson
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