Football Victoria has announced that the temporary suspension on all competitions and football activities has been extended until May 31, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic, in line with the release from Football Federation Australia earlier this evening.
At that time, a subsequent decision will be made about whether football can resume thereafter, or whether the temporary suspension will be extended further.
This decision by Football Victoria was made in conjunction with Football Federation Australia and in line with Federal Government guidelines and medical advice, and in consultation with the National COVID-19 Working Committee. All Member Federations have endorsed the position.
Football Victoria chief executive officer Peter Filopoulos acknowledged that while it was disappointing to further delay the football season, it was necessary to do so.
“These are some of the most testing times we have ever faced as a sport and we are particularly concerned for our football community. As the largest participation sport in the state, football is the glue that holds many communities together,” Filopoulos said.
“However, the health and wellbeing of all of Football Victoria’s clubs and stakeholders is paramount. Although we would prefer to be playing football, the safety of our participants is our absolute priority, and we note the repeated escalation in recent weeks of the statewide restrictions on public gatherings by the Victorian Government. This is why the initial target of a resumption on April 14 has been extended.”
“As a sport, we must do all we can to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus and ceasing to operate football activities shows our commitment to the wider community. When it is safe for football activities to resume, our football family will be notified immediately.”
It remains Football Victoria’s intention to operate the 2020 NPL and Community seasons in some form and the team are working tirelessly to that end.
“Although the season has been delayed, our staff are still working through a number of contingencies for a re-started competition. We recognise there is an incredible hunger among the football community to get back out on the field when this is over,” Filopoulos said.
“We have 355 clubs and over 450,000 participants currently registered who are unable to do the activity they love most. We know they want to play, to be with their teammates, and our goal is to make sure they can resume at the earliest possible time.”
In order to help the grassroots football community stay active and connected throughout this time, FFA recently launched an online Skills Hub, developed in association with each of Australia’s Member Federations. To access the Skills Hub and get involved with the #PlayAtHomeChallenge, please visit www.playfootball.com.au/skills-hub.
Football Victoria has also launched #LiveLoveFootball At Home, an all-ages campaign across multiple social channels to keep the Victorian football community entertained and engaged during the temporary suspension period.