Football Federation Australia (FFA) today re-confirmed its intention to resume the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season as soon as possible, identifying a number of criteria 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.
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.
FFA Chief Executive James Johnson said 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.
“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.
“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 will continue to work with the clubs as well as our broadcasters and provide a further update in May 2020. In the meantime, please stay engaged with the Hyundai A-League and Clubs through all our social channels.