Football Victoria (FV) today welcomes the advice given by the Victorian Government regarding its decision to ease Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions.
The announcement detailed a series of moves to allow increased movement of citizens, whilst still maintaining the majority of Stage 3 restrictions which have been in place during recent weeks. This follows last week’s Federal Government announcements in relation to the three phases for the easing of restrictions, outlined in these documents:
The Victorian Government has specified that the easing of Stage 3 restrictions will take place from 11.59pm on Tuesday 12 May, with a further review of the restrictions prior to the end of May.
With regards to football, Football Victoria is still awaiting detailed guidance from Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV) as to the specifics for how football training can be made compliant with the latest regulations. SRV has confirmed it will provide that guidance tomorrow (Tuesday).
Furthermore, in order to ensure the safety of all our participants, Football Victoria is seeking absolute clarity regarding insurance for participants, to make sure both our clubs and participants will be adequately protected.
Once that confirmation has been received, Football Victoria will formally release its Return to Training guidelines, which will be communicated to clubs as soon as possible. Please note that the facility owner must provide approval prior to any resumption of training.
As such, we ask clubs to only undertake sessions once they have received, reviewed and implemented the Return to Training guidelines.
Football Victoria Chief Executive Peter Filopoulos welcomed the State Government’s announcement and said that players would be pleased to start training again after a lengthy period in lockdown.
“The Government's announcement marks a key first step toward our ultimate goal of resuming all football activities, a point we remain hopeful of reaching at some point in the coming weeks,” he said.
“Whilst we are still some way off allowing full training and matches, the fact that we can have modified training sessions will be welcomed by the entire Victorian football community.”
“The patience our clubs and their participants have shown - not to mention their vigilance in practicing social distancing requirements - has been nothing short of outstanding. We encourage our community to remain vigilant to enable further easing of restrictions in June.”
As outlined above, the detailed guidance we are seeking from SRV includes:
- Engagement with Councils in relation to a return to training to ensure facilities are available.
- Any actions that need to be undertaken prior to the resumption of training - i.e. facility deep clean.
- Cleaning and hygiene before, during and after sessions.
- Whether facilities with multiple pitches can have a group of 10 per pitch and/or whether multiple groups can train on one pitch.
- When clubs will be allowed to run full-scale training and return to normal competitions.
- How we will liaise with other sports who may be seeking to use the same facility at the same time.
- What safety protocols may need to be undertaken to ensure the safety of all participants.
Filopoulos said that FV’s extensive discussions with stakeholder groups - especially with clubs - brought home a desire for “certainty”.
“We recognise there is a real desire for clarity in regards to the return to organised sport, largely so that clubs can start mapping out their path for the road ahead,” Filopoulos said.
“Today marks the first step towards providing that certainty, and we’re going to keep working closely with the State Government to make sure we know what’s going on and, equally, to keep them in loop regarding the position our clubs are in.”
“We also realise that every club has individual circumstances that may make it harder for them to adjust to the situation than others. I want to assure everyone that we will do all we can to ensure that no club is left behind.”