The purpose of this paper is to provide the Victorian football community with the guiding principles adopted by Football Victoria for the recommencement/commencement of football in 2020.


When the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the temporary suspension of football, competitions administered by Football Victoria were at various stages with some having played a small number of rounds and others yet to commence. 

The impacts have been felt across the entire Victorian community, with each club facing its unique combination of challenges. Through this pandemic, Football Victoria has prioritised the importance of our relationships with clubs and their councils. We have maintained a high degree of engagement and gathered comprehensive feedback from them in relation to their prospects for the remainder of 2020.

This has included maintaining our Club Ambassadors on our skeleton staff to be available through this difficult time, multiple club surveys to understand the issues being experienced and many online engagement sessions with clubs, referees, and Football Victoria committees.  

Football Victoria is well informed to address the task of preparing for an expected ‘return to play’.

Football Victoria has produced a series of principles to provide every opportunity for our clubs, referees and players to once again participate in our great game in 2020 - notwithstanding the onerous health, social, and financial issues this current pandemic has forced upon our football community.

These guiding principles have been developed consistent with Football Victoria’s Strategic Plan – ‘FootbALLways’ - which includes our Purpose – To inspire and enable all Victorians to live and love football for life – and our vision – Football for all, Anywhere, Anytime.

Our Strategic Plan, Purpose and Vision can be found here. 


  1. Football Victoria’s priority is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the football community during the COVID-19 pandemic

  2. Football Victoria is obliged to comply with Federal, Victorian, Local Government and FFA mandated advice/requirements in relation to football activity. Participation must be deemed safe by Government authorities. This includes any relaxing of social distancing restrictions for outdoor gatherings 

  3. All participants, including clubs, referees, officials and players must adhere to Federal, Victorian and Local Government advice/requirements, Football Victoria return to play/train conditions and any FFA direction at all Football Victoria/Club sanctioned football activities. Failure to do so may result in sanctions and voiding of participant insurance 

  4. Football Victoria will prioritise a commitment to work with clubs to support them in these circumstances and consider options for football to be played in 2020. This consultation will be particularly subject to principles 2 and 3. 

  5. Football Victoria must be cognisant of the practical difficulties faced by council and other venue owners of the facilities Victorian football clubs utilise

  6. Football Victoria understands that many of our clubs and participants have been impacted financially due to COVID-19. Football Victoria will use best endeavours to work with our clubs and participants to understand these individual circumstances as they arise and work together to overcome these genuine concerns. Football Victoria will use best endeavours to support our clubs to generate new/additional revenue opportunities by lobbying government, investigating game video streaming opportunities, developing new competition formats including social football tournaments and other initiatives that can be activated by our clubs

  7. Football Victoria will use best endeavours to design modified football competitions and participation fees to enable willing clubs and players to play football in season 2020

  8. Football Victoria will use best endeavours to ensure that players and clubs that wish to play will be able to play football in season 2020. As such, Football Victoria may be required to amend the player registration windows and player transfer regulations to support competition structures

  9. Football Victoria notes that any stakeholder (club, player, coach, coach educator, referee, referee assessor, match commissioner, club administrator, spectator, marshal or other) participates in our competitions voluntarily. No stakeholder is mandated to participate in Football Victoria competitions. All clubs should consider their own financial position and resourcing requirements before making their participation decision in 2020

  10. Relegation will not be applied in 2020 at any tier of competition

  11. Promotion is in play at all tiers except those tiers where it was communicated pre COVID-19 pandemic that there will be no promotion from that competition E.g. VPLW. 

    Please note: the number of teams in each specific league to be promoted will be communicated to all clubs prior to the commencement of competition

  12. Clubs will not be penalised/sanctioned if they choose to not participate in the 2020 season specifically and solely for COVID-19 related reasons when football recommences subject to the payment of their full, respective 2020 team entry/license/participation fees by 31 October 2020. This will ensure that clubs retain their league status in the Victorian football hierarchy for 2021. Under this scenario, team entry fees will not be applied for metro, masters, community junior and community miniroos/small sided game competitions. Clubs must be aware that other non COVID-19 related reasons for the removal of licences or league status continue to apply. E.g. Disciplinary action on behavioural grounds

  13. Prior to season commencement, junior players will require three (3) weeks of preseason training and senior players will require four (4) weeks of training. In senior football, Cup Competitions (Nike F.C. Cup and Dockerty Cup) may be fixtured prior to the recommencement of league competition

  14. Football Victoria will continue to regularly communicate with the football community in a clear and informative manner regarding return to play/train

  15. Football Victoria establishes that a minimum of one (1) match against each club will constitute a league season for the purpose of prizemoney and promotion. The variables that will be considered when determining a league fixture will include;

    15.1. The number of teams that choose to play in a league structure

    15.2. The amount of time in the calendar to complete a season; and

    15.3. The availability of facilities to complete a season

  16. Football Victoria may choose to merge clubs from two (2) (or more) different league structures into one league structure in order to 1) satisfy these principles and 2) ensure an adequate number of games is offered to clubs for competition purposes 

  17. Football Victoria will monitor Government announcements for indoor facilities with a view to supporting the Victorian Futsal community and all other forms of indoor football with re commencement opportunities


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