The recent coronavirus outbreak has unfortunately impacted the staging of sporting events around the world with big football Leagues such as the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A being suspended. However, in Australia is business as usual with the Hyundai A-League played behind closed.
With only six rounds remaining in the A- League and fear of financial repercussions, Football federation Australia (FFA) has decided to continue while ‘adhering to government directives and expert medical advice’ as FFA head of Leagues Greg O’Rourke said.
“We understand that these are difficult times for everyone. We will always put the health, welfare and safety of our players, coaches, match officials, volunteers, administrators and fans at the centre of our decision-making process,” added O’Rourke.
Last night, the Sydney Derby became the Silent Derby
But it didn't stop the rest of the world from watching
— Fox Football (@FOXFOOTBALL) March 21, 2020
Australia have more than 1 000 confirmed cases of the virus, as a result they have closed their borders, banning entry to anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident.
Two of the 11 teams in the A-League are undergoing mandatory 14-day quarantine: Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory as they were playing in New Zealand last weekend and failed to get back to Australia in time before the new entry rules took effect on Friday.
In an effort to ensure the season can be finished, New Zealand-based Phoenix relocated to Australia
“The decision to travel to Sydney in an attempt to complete this season, was made as a club,” said Phoenix general manager David Dome.
FFA have called a press conference for 10am on Tuesday.
SURELY this is the end of @ALeague too. Football Federation Australia Chief Executive Officer James Johnson is holding a media conference tomorrow morning at 10am (AEDT). ** fellow Territorians 8.30am** To make a significant announcement (surely postponement) regarding the season
— Shannon Byrne (@shannonbyrne23) March 23, 2020
The FFA on Sunday released a statement that reads as follows:
“The health and wellbeing of the players continues to remain our top priority and we will not be afraid to make decisions to ensure this, no matter how hard they might be,” said FFA CEO James Johnson said.
“We were very comfortable to take the initial decision to allow the Leagues to continue with additional measures in place and have worked through a number of scenarios to facilitate the completion of the A-League season.
“We are taking every precaution in line with Government advice and working closely with the League and clubs which have implemented additional measures to ensure players remain healthy and in good physical and mental condition.
“Our priority is to ensure that this remains the case to give the clubs and players the best chance of achieving their sporting aspirations.”
By FARPost Reporter