Guiding principles for the resumption of football in Victoria

Football Victoria (FV) has released its ‘Resumption of football in Victoria due to COVID-19: Guiding Principles’ to provide direction for all clubs and participants on the decision making process it will follow as it seeks to restart football for season 2020.  

Relegation from all tiers of senior football has been removed and promotion retained as FV works to design conditions for competition recommencement that ensures fairness for all Victorian clubs and maintains competition integrity. 

FV CEO Peter Filopoulos commented that today’s announcement was vitally important to provide clarity for their football participation in 2020 within the context of the COVID-19 global crisis. 

‘At the forefront of our principles is absolute clarity for Victorian football clubs that we will follow the guidelines provided by Government and Football authorities before restarting play in 2020’, said Filopoulos. 

‘The health and wellbeing of our participants and stakeholders is fundamental to any football being played this season and we will continue our extensive work with the authorities to ensure all ‘return to training’ and ‘return to play’ guidelines are followed as a priority above all others.’

‘From a football competitions point of view, relegation has been removed from all senior tiers of football and promotion retained.’

‘This provides those clubs that have been impacted significantly by COVID-19 with the certainty that they will not lose their place in Victoria’s football hierarchy in 2020 whilst ensuring clubs with ambition to ascend the hierarchy via promotion can still pursue this dream.’

Filopoulos also highlighted that clubs choosing to not play football are free to opt out of competition in season 2020 subject to the payment of their participation fees.

‘FV understands that the impact of COVID-19 has meant that some clubs would prefer to voluntarily opt out of competition in 2020. This is understandable. Whilst our team will work with all clubs to support their desire to play football this season, if this proves unachievable we will ensure the clubs who decide to opt out from competitions that their position in the football hierarchy is maintained and welcome them back in 2021.’ 

‘We will take a Leadership role with our clubs and work with them on their specific circumstances through this period including on issues of genuine financial hardship.’ 

‘We will also ensure that the clubs and players who are in a position to play football are provided with this opportunity and we know that Victoria’s football community will be central to the State’s re-emergence from the COVID-19 induced shutdown.’

‘I am looking forward to our players once again experiencing the joy of playing our great game.’

FV also looks forward to further details being released by the Victorian State Government on the recently announced “The Experience Economy Survival Package, which is intended to provide support to sporting clubs and competitions across the state – from grassroots to elite.

The package includes $40 million for community sport and recreation bodies including state sporting associations, leagues and clubs – to help them return strongly after the pandemic.

The full principles documents can be found at this link.