The COVID-19 outbreak has clearly affected us all.
That said, and as I am sure you would all agree and appreciate, we all play our part in minimising its spread in order to bring it under control as soon as practically possible. Parallel to all government and community announcements about ‘social distancing’, good hygiene practices, football and indeed all sport has a role to play amongst our members and all involved in the game.
To this end, our National Governing Body, Football Federation Australia (FFA) has released an updated Circular (Circular No 20-06), suspending all community football activities (i.e. below A-League and W-League), effective from 12:00am on 18 March 2020. That is, all sanctioned grassroots football activity in Australia will be suspended until 14 April 2020.
What does this mean for our Association, our competitions/leagues and your Clubs?
· Effective immediately, all games, training and other football activities must cease;
· Where possible, unnecessary meetings and other gatherings should either cease or be minimised. I suggest that you look to alternative forms of meeting (teleconferences) or by utilising other forms of technology (e.g. Skype).
· No competitions/leagues will commence at this stage, and any that have already started, will be suspended until 14 April 2020.
· Any football activity which takes place during this period is not sanctioned by the Association nor Football NSW and, therefore, the Personal Accident insurance cover that is provided as part of a player’s registration may not apply.
As you would appreciate, we are working with our State governing body, Football NSW, who is in turn constantly liaising with FFA and relevant Government agencies, and everyone is committed to keeping you informed and up to date in these rapidly changing times.
If the current environment does not worsen over this period, the following will be implemented for season 2020.
• Training will recommence week beginning 14th April
• Round 1 will commence Saturday 18th April.
• We envisage that the season will be redrawn in an attempt to play all 18 rounds and a finals series.
Any subsequent adjustments to the draw as a direct result of further directives by our governing bodies or the government (or due to washouts or fields not being available) will necessitate a reduction in rounds to be played. Note also that Grand Finals may need to be played (in the worst case in limited circumstances – subject to field availability) in September.
The SSFA will continue to update its members with any information released from our Governing body as it comes to hand.
I thank you for your patience, cooperation and assistance.
Sutherland Shire Football Association