CLICK HERE TO VIEW FOOTBALL NSW’s UPDATED FAQs FOLLOWING THE CHANGE OF FOOTBALL SUSPENSION DATE TO 31 MAY
Football Federation Australia (FFA) advised that, in light of ongoing developments since its original announcement, including stricter measures imposed by the Federal Government in response to COVID-19, the temporary suspension to sanctioned grassroots football competitions and associated training would remain in place until at least 31 May 2020.
The decision is another in a series of measures taken by FFA in response to COVID-19 in consultation with its State and Territory Member Federations and the National COVID-19 Working Committee.
FFA Chief Executive Officer James Johnson said: “Since our initial announcement, there have been numerous declarations made by, and introduced, across all levels of Government. The measures have continuously tightened restrictions around community gatherings, and the measures announced by the Prime Minister recently increased these restrictions further. While we were not due to make a formal assessment until 14 April 2020, we felt it best to consider our position now in light of this most recent announcement.
“We have determined, with the full backing of all Member Federations, that the temporary suspension to sanctioned grassroots football competitions and associated training will remain in place until at least 31 May 2020. We will continue to stay in close communications with our Member Federations in the lead up to 31 May 2020, to ensure that the individual circumstances of each state and territory in relation to the status of COVID-19 and the measures or restrictions imposed by individual State/Territory Governments are being considered.
“These are unprecedented times and at this moment, it is very difficult to predict what further measures will be introduced, or for how much longer current measures will be in place. As we have done with all our decisions to date, we will remain agile and responsive to the prevailing circumstances and still remain optimistic that our Member Federations, which are already considering what adjusted competitions will look like, will be able to complete the grassroots season this year.
“Any decision to resume grassroots football will be made in line with the Federal Government, taking into account the latest health advice at the time to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both the football and wider community, and in full consultation with our Member Federations and the National COVID-19 Working Committee. The safety of the football community remains our priority.
“We recognise that our participants across the country are eager to understand what all of this means for them so we hope that the announcement today can give them some piece of mind and we ask that they remain positive during these difficult times.
“As a sport, we must continue to undertake our civic duty as a responsible citizen and do everything we can to contribute to the national efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Football people are resilient, have a strong moral compass and, consequently, I am sure our community will understand this position.”
FFA will continue to communicate material updates in the lead up to 31 May 2020.
In order to help the grassroots football community stay active and connected throughout the temporary suspension period, FFA recently launched an online Skills Hub, developed in association with each of Australia’s nine Member Federations. To access the Skills Hub and get involved with the #PlayAtHomeChallenge, please visit www.playfootball.com.au/skills-hub.
17 March 2020
Football Federation Australia (FFA) today advised that, after considered discussion with its nine State and Territory Member Federations and assessment of developments today, sanctioned grassroots football competitions and associated training would be suspended for the next four weeks.
The decision will take effect from 12:00am on Wednesday, 18 March 2020 until Tuesday, 14 April 2020.
Read FFA CEO James Johnson’s letter HERE.
The decision comes as the latest in a series of measures being introduced by the FFA to combat the ongoing spread of COVID-19 following the announcement of its COVID-19 Guidelines yesterday and places the concerns, health and wellbeing of the Australian football and wider community as the highest priority.
FFA Chief Executive Officer James Johnson explained that while disappointing, reducing community gatherings would help slow the spread of the virus and that this was the driving factor in the decision.
“Our decision today follows extensive discussions with all of Australia’s nine State and Territory Member Federations, taking into consideration the latest feedback from all levels of the football community,” Johnson said.
“We are also taking into consideration the ongoing response by both the broader international and Australian communities which is evolving almost on an hourly basis now.
“We also recognise that there have been some recent material developments which have changed the landscape significantly, including the decisions made by the Victorian and ACT Governments to declare States of Emergency late yesterday afternoon. Today, more schools, universities and also public sporting facilities have announced that they will be closing so we have had to respond quickly to this.
“It is very regrettable that grassroots football will not proceed for the next month, but as a good and responsible citizen, we recognise that our game of approximately 1.96 million participants, has a significant role to play in slowing the spread of the virus.
“More Australians play grassroots football than any other team sport in the country and we have been able to listen to the voice of our community, through the establishment of the National COVID-19 Working Committee and our Guidelines, who have expressed a desire to contribute more to the nation at this time through a unified and Whole of Game response.
“As a game we need to be responsive and agile in how we deal with this situation, and we are working together around the clock to deal with this challenge. We will continue to assess our position regularly to ensure that it is reflective of the most accurate state of affairs and views of the game.
“I would like to acknowledge how Member Federations have worked so constructively with FFA, through the Working Committee and established Guidelines, to arrive at what is right for our players, coaches, officials, their families and the wider community. We are meeting on a daily basis and will continue to do so, taking into account the latest Government medical advice and community sentiment.”
FFA will continue to communicate new developments in the lead-up to 14 April 2020.
Read FFA CEO James Johnson’s letter HERE.