FFA Seeking Exemptions For Victorian A-League Clubs
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has confirmed they are applying for exemptions that will allow Victorian A-League clubs to enter NSW for the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season.
This comes after the decision from the NSW Government to close the NSW border to Victoria as the COVID-19 cases in Victoria continue to rise put a large question mark on the likelihood of the season starting on time.
FFA head of leagues, Greg O’Rourke, said every effort was made to relocate the three Victorian clubs out of Victoria before the borders closed last night (Tuesday), but weather issues closed Canberra Airport, making it impossible for the clubs to leave Victoria as they all had boarded a plane to the ACT.
“We are in discussions with the NSW Government, and we will continue to seek the exemptions necessary for the teams to travel.
“Given the strict League and Club Protocols our teams have been following since June 2, 2020, combined with the fact we have not had any players or high-performance staff return a positive COVID-19 testing result, we feel that we have a very good case to gain the exemptions and get the teams to NSW to complete the Hyundai A-League season, and we will make every attempt to do so.
“I’d like to sincerely thank the players, their families and staff from the three clubs for their understanding and commitment this past 24 hours.
“The disappointment of getting prepared to travel out of Victoria to prepare for the restart not once, but twice, has been most frustrating for them and I can assure them, the clubs’ members and fans that we are all committed to overcoming this evolving challenge and to play football again,” he said.
O’Rourke also said the schedule to restart the 2019/20 A-League season will remain unchanged for now dependent on the result of the application for exemptions.
“As a result, we will now begin the process to seek exemptions from the NSW Government to allow the teams to enter NSW for them to continue their season,” O’Rourke said.
“If we find it necessary to revise the match schedule we will do so accordingly and will announce once confirmed, however at this time the schedule remains the same,” he said.