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FFA suspends grassroots football
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has today announced that, after considered discussion with its nine State and Territory Member Federations and assessment of developments today, sanctioned grassroots football competitions and associated training will be suspended for the next four weeks.
The decision will take effect from midday tomorrow (Wednesday 18th March until Tuesday 14th April).
The decision comes as the latest in a series of measures being introduced by the FFA to combat the ongoing spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) following the announcement of its COVID-19 Guidelines yesterday and places the concerns, health and wellbeing of the Australian football and wider community as the highest priority.
Explaining that while disappointing, reducing community gatherings would help slow the spread of the virus and that this was the driving factor in the decision, FFA Chief Executive, James Johnson (pictured below) stated “our decision today follows extensive discussions with all of Australia’s nine State and Territory Member Federations, taking into consideration the latest feedback from all levels of the football community.
“We are also taking into consideration the ongoing response by both the broader international and Australian communities which is evolving almost on an hourly basis now.
“We also recognise that there have been some recent material developments which have changed the landscape significantly, including the decisions made by the Victorian and ACT Governments to declare States of Emergency late yesterday afternoon. Today, more schools, universities and also public sporting facilities have announced that they will be closing so we have had to respond quickly to this.
“It is very regrettable that grassroots football will not proceed for the next month, but as a good and responsible citizen, we recognise that our game of approximately 1.96 million participants has a significant role to play in slowing the spread of the virus.
“More Australians play grassroots football than any other team sport in the country and we have been able to listen to the voice of our community, through the establishment of the National COVID-19 Working Committee and our Guidelines, who have expressed a desire to contribute more to the nation at this time through a unified and Whole of Game response.
“As a game we need to be responsive and agile in how we deal with this situation, and we are working together around the clock to deal with this challenge. We will continue to assess our position regularly to ensure that it is reflective of the most accurate state of affairs and views of the game.
“I would like to acknowledge how Member Federations have worked so constructively with FFA, through the Working Committee and established Guidelines, to arrive at what is right for our players, coaches, officials, their families and the wider community. We are meeting on a daily basis and will continue to do so, taking into account the latest Government medical advice and community sentiment.”
FFA will continue to communicate new developments in the lead-up to 14th April 2020.
17th March 2020 - Coronavirus fears sees AFL announce plan to cut season to 17 rounds
17th March 2020 - School Sport NZ suspends all events on national calendar
11th March 2020 - Female participation in football reaches record levels in Australia
25th February 2020 - Perth Glory FC sale off following revelations over buyer
15th January 2020 - New FFA Chief Executive sets out priorities at first press conference
13th January 2020 - Football NSW helps success of National Club Development Program
31st December 2019 - Grassroots sporting clubs in Victoria encouraged to apply for funding
19th August 2019 - FFA announces independent review of national football teams
26th June 2019 - Women in Football Association looks to eliminate the ‘grass ceiling’
15th February 2019 - National sports raffle to aid fundraising for grassroots sports and charities
11th November 2018 - Australia recognised as benchmark for grassroots football across Asia
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