After months of inactivity, the A-League will officially be returning to action next month.
July 16 is the current date that has been planned out by the FFA. Melbourne Victory and Western United look set to kick things off again on that day.
Former Victory star striker Besart Berisha will face his old side once again after getting the better of them earlier in the season.
— FOXSportsAUS (@FOXSportsAUS) June 16, 2020
FFA’s Head of Leagues, Greg O’Rourke had this to say regarding the season restart.
“We have developed multiple draw options for the completion of the regular season”.
“All options commence with Victory taking on Western United at AAMI Park followed by a game between the table topping Sydney FC against third-placed Wellington Phoenix at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium the following day.
“The reason for having multiple draw options — which our clubs are across — is due to the fact that over the next few weeks there may be additional relaxations in border restrictions and travel movements in Australia, which may enable our clubs from Victoria, Queensland and South Australia to remain and play in their home cities, rather than relocating to New South Wales to complete the season.
“We are confident that we will be able to release the revised draw for the completion of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season soon.”
So although the season will definitely be getting back underway, there are still lots of variables at play.
As we already know, due to overseas travel restrictions, the Wellington Phoenix have been forced to play all games on Australian soil. Now, with New Zealand’s COVID-19 count basically at zero (which is great), it’s even more unlikely that the New Zealand government will allow any changes to that.
Furthermore, the Australian government would be silly to even propose the question.
Although the Phoenix have no choice but to stay in their ‘hub’, the FFA appears to be very strong-minded on avoiding the use of hubs across the country.
In the AFL, several clubs from Western Australia and South Australia are now being forced to temporarily relocate to Queensland. This is to avoid any potential exposure to COVID-19.
In the NRL, one player was found to have potentially been in contact with a primary school kid who had the virus, leading to suggestions that his side’s fixtures would need to be postponed again.
The impact that even one A-League player with the virus would have could be catastrophic for the FFA and their plans to restart the season.
Players are now allowed to start training as per usual, starting today Wednesday the 17th of June.
With other competitions around the country starting up again, now is an ideal time for the FFA to get the ball rolling. It will also be a good test of how well the A-League performs compared to its winter counterparts.
The A-League, as we all know is played during our summer and hopefully, with renewed interest, it can showcase itself well against the likes of the AFL or the NRL.
Nevertheless, we think it’s safe to say that we’re just glad to have live sports back as we start to creep back into normality.
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