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Community Football Returns in Australia Tonight

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has announced the return of competitive community football in Australia, starting tonight (Friday June 5) in the Northern Territory.

The resumption of community football following the suspension of play due to COVID-19 will see the first ever Darwin Women’s Premier League (WPL) meeting between newly promoted NT Yappas (Australia’s only indigenous women’s team playing in the premier competition), and Hellenic Athletic Women (current WPL champions).

The match will be shown live on FFA’s Facebook page, Twitter account and the MyFootball YouTube channel, with commentary from ABC Darwin broadcaster, Shannon Byrne, with special comments from former Socceroo and SBS chief football analyst, Craig Foster.

FFA chief executive, James Johnson, said he is thrilled to see competitive grassroots football back again.

“Many congratulations to Football Northern Territory (FNT) and the NT Government for the close collaboration and the hard work that has enabled the return of football this weekend,” Johnson said.

“I’d like to thank every football participant in the Territory for the part they have played in helping to supress the spread of COVID-19, by adhering to government regulations during the period of restrictions.

“As the most popular club-based participation sport in the country, football has an important role to play in the recovery of our nation post-coronavirus, and it’s great to see Football Northern Territory leading the way and kicking off the re-booted season in Australia.

“I wish everyone playing this weekend a safe and successful return to action, and I’m particularly looking forward to watching Friday night’s opening fixture between NT Yappas and Hellenic Athletic Women,” he said.

FNT chief executive, Bruce Stalder, said he appreciated the way clubs and players have responded to the challenges over the past few months dealing with COVID-19.

“Our clubs have been asked to strictly adhere to government advice and implement special guidelines for our community to follow and they have done an amazing job so far,” Stalder said.

“We look forward to the next step on our journey to recovery when our clubs take to the field this Friday night.

“We met with the chief health officer during the week and confirmed we were able to host a crowd of up to 500 spectators.

“All those attending will be reminded of the protocols required to adhere to social distancing requirements.”

“We are extremely excited that for the first time, all of the games in the Men’s Premier League this season will be livestreamed on the FNT Facebook page and YouTube Channel, showcasing our game and the Northern Territory to new audiences both in Australia and around the world,” he said.