COVID-19 and football in Victoria
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Last updated: Friday, November 6, 2020

PLEASE NOTE: This document is a guide surrounding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on football. Any specific medical advice surrounding COVID-19 should be sought from official Government Health sources such as the Victorian Government’s official COVID-19 website: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.

RETURN TO TRAINING/PLAY

What club training/competition is permitted following the movement of Victoria to Step 3 of the COVID-19 Roadmap?

Training and competition may resume for participants 18 and under provided certain conditions as determined by the Chief Health Officer are met.

Please refer to the latest Return to Play Conditions, which outline the conditions that must be met for outdoor training and competition for players aged 18 and under in order to limit the spread of COVID-19 in line with Federal and Victorian State government guidance.

Players aged 19 years and over can return to non-contact training, provided the Return to Training Conditions are adhered to.

What might happen if clubs or players breach the Return to Training Conditions or Return to Play Conditions?

Clubs and players will not be covered by insurance policies and, depending on the circumstances, FV may enforce sanctions under the Grievance,  Disciplinary and Tribunal Bylaw.

Breaches of current State Government restrictions may also attract on the spot fines from police as well as substantial fines under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2018.

Will players be insured during this revised training/playing format?

Yes. As was the case with the insurance policy that was in place last season, registered players will be insured for bodily injury sustained during FV-sanctioned training reasonably undertaken to prepare for the football season and also during FV sanctioned competition. This is subject to the normal policy terms and conditions and on the basis that the training was conducted in line with the applicable Return to Play Conditions.

Does the National Insurance Program Personal Accident insurance policy provide coverage if you catch COVID-19?

No. COVID-19 is not a bodily injury as defined under the policy. In the same way the policy would not previously cover people if they caught the flu.

Does the National Insurance Program Public Liability policy provide clubs with coverage?

If a club were the subject of a legal action against it where it is claimed a player, official or spectator caught COVID-19 in FV-sanctioned club training, and it is claimed that the club is legally liable including by letting the training continue, then depending on the nature of the claim made, it appears that cover would be available under the Public Liability policy. This is subject to the normal policy terms and conditions and on the basis that the training was conducted in line with Return to Play Conditions.

Please note that the wording above constitutes the insurer’s position on the matter, and FV cannot provide any further “guarantees” about insurance coverage applying in this regard.

Can players train or compete if they are not registered?

No. Players and clubs risk not being insured if players train or compete prior to registration on PlayFootball, or participate in a GO Football program prior to registration on GO Football.

Can I train/play if I work in health, aged or residential care?

Anyone who works in health, aged or residential care who has taken the recommended infection control precautions, including the use of recommended personal protective equipment (PPE), while caring for a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), is not considered to be a close contact.

Such workers are, subject to the remainder of the Return to Play Conditions, able to train/play.

Can I attend training or competition if I have recovered from COVID-19?

There are two separate points to consider for people who have been infected with COVID-19, prior to returning to train/compete (including non-players):

  • Ensure they no longer pose any infection risk to their community; and
  • Ensure they have sufficiently recovered to safely participate in exercise (specifically for those undertaking physical roles).

In both instances, clearance from their doctor is required and they must satisfy the Communicable Disease Network of Australia (CDNA) criteria to ensure they are no longer infectious. Further guidance is available in the AIS Framework for Rebooting Sport.

What should I do if I catch COVID-19 or suspect that I have it?

As detailed in the Return to Play Conditions, you must not attend training or competition. You should follow DHHS instructions on their website.

Those with even mild symptoms are strongly encouraged to get tested. For more information, see here.

What should clubs do if a person attending the venue has COVID-19 or suspects they have it?

Clubs must refuse entry or send the person home immediately and should contact DHHS for further information about next steps - https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.

Where can we source hand sanitiser?

FV has announced Victorian based company Moki International as its official hand sanitiszer sponsor with ‘Two Hands Hand Sanitiser Return To Sport Packs’ to be gifted to Football Victoria’s 355 clubs between June 2020 and the start of the 2021 football season.

Two Hands is part of Moki International’s stable of brands and is proudly owned and made in Australia. All raw materials are purchased in Australia and Two Hands bottles are filled and capped out of the Two Hands warehouse in Melbourne. Two Hands utilise recycled materials, and their PET bottles are also recyclable.

FV club representatives have received an email to register and access their free ‘Two Hands Hand Sanitiser Return To Sport Packs’.  Products will come in the form of 500ml bottles and 1 Litre refill bottles. 

Moki International will deliver the complimentary Two Hands Hand Sanitiser products and any additional supplies direct to a club’s nominated postal address, in three deliveries across the coming months. Your club may have already received its first delivery.

For more information click here.

Who is responsible for cleaning of facilities?

Clubs will need to make arrangements with the venue owner (generally your Council)  regarding any change to cleaning schedules as a result of the Return to Play Conditions, noting that this may be covered under the terms of your lease.

We would reiterate that FV’s conditions implement the rules announced by the Victorian Government for the purposes of football.

SUSPENSION OF FOOTBALL ACTIVITIES

Will we have any opportunities to play football in 2020, if restrictions allow it?

Junior players are able to play football across Victoria, following the release of our Return to Play Conditions on November 6, 2020. We are closely monitoring updates for senior players but at this stage, only non-contact training is permitted for players aged 19 and over.

FV has been working with Clubs and Associations to create a range of football options for players across spring and summer. Visit gofootball.com.au to find the perfect program for you.

OTHER MATTERS

Are FV and Associations still open for business?

Yes. However, staff continue to work from home on reduced hours during this period. Again, for the general public, and registered participants, the first point of contact should be your club.