Although all football activity remains suspended until May 31, Football Victoria CEO Peter Filopoulos claims it is time for clubs to begin to plan for the resumption of scheduled competitions.
“Our transition to closing football down was extremely difficult and we know it’s not as simple as flicking a switch – there’s a huge number of issues to consider for every club, and no two clubs have the exact same set of circumstances,” he said.
“However, now that things are improving, our information from higher authorities is that clubs should start discussing plans for how they will approach the resumption period. It’s also possible that training – or modified training – may be permitted before competitions are allowed.
“We are in the advanced stages of scenario planning regarding a return to football and have worked through several different competition models at both NPL and Community level. We’re looking forward to sharing these with our clubs when we have a clear idea of the resumption date.”
Football Victoria continues to collaborate regularly with FFA, State Government and other sporting associations, with an increased likelihood of sharing venues with other sports when activity resumes.
“It’s no secret that football has the highest participation numbers of any team sport, but this is a time for all sports to come together and work together to find solutions,” Filopoulos said.
“We have already flagged that our season might be running later into the year than normal. That means we’ll be working with Governments at all levels to find solutions that enable everyone to play.
“So far, Sport and Recreation Victoria have shown fantastic leadership to bring all the sports together and to create a framework that will enable every sport to find a sense of normality. As their decisions are made and passed on to us, we promise to relay it on to the football community as quickly as possible.”
Filopoulos praised the Victorian football community and its clubs for the way they have handled the challenges presented by COVID-19.
“Our NPL and Community clubs have been absolutely fantastic in the way they have navigated this period. The way the football community has banded together, followed the rules and committed to staying the course during this difficult period has shown the collective strength of our game.”