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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

FFA preparing for football’s return

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has produced a set of guidelines in readiness for a return to community football.

FFA Chief Executive James Johnson said the guidelines include protocols and measures to be put in place to ensure a safe and responsible resumption of the game.

“The guidelines are being reviewed by senior health officials and will be used by our nine Member Federations to guide a return to football, taking into account the relevant regulations and health advice in each state and territory,” he said. 

“Community football is currently suspended until at least 31 May, and we will be providing a further update in due course.”

In addition to the guidelines, the FFA also confirmed its full support for the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe app.

Mr Johnson said the Australian football community had really come together during the COVID-19 pandemic, adhering to social distancing and travel restrictions, and he urged it to get behind the government’s latest initiative.

“The health and wellbeing of all two million football participants in this country is of paramount importance to us, we firmly believe in the importance of this community health message, and you can play a major role in this initiative,” he said.

“The sooner we can stop the spread of COVID-19, the sooner restrictions will be lifted, so we can get football back up and running across Australia.”

The COVIDSafe app is available to download via the Apple App store or Google Play.

Meanwhile, on 23 April the FFA re-confirmed its intention to resume the A-League 2019/20 season as soon as possible.

“Our goal is to deliver live, professional football and complete the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season, and we have set a number of criteria that will define when this is going to be possible,” Mr Johnson said.

“Our priority remains the health and safety of all players and staff and we will need to be satisfied that appropriate measures are in place to ensure this. Secondly, we will need to meet all government restrictions in place at the time, including state/territory border controls. Finally, any decision to resume will be made in full alignment with government and its medical advisors.

“We will resume play as soon as possible, and the first stage would see the players return to training. We would then schedule matches. It is difficult to see that process beginning before the end of May, but we will work with all stakeholders to achieve the earliest possible resumption.”

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