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Football Victoria updates its Return to Training/Playing

Football Victoria has updated its Return to Training/Playing Conditions following Sport and Recreation Victoria’s (SRV) release of guidelines for the return to play for community sport.

In line with advice from SRV, junior and senior sport is treated differently. The Return to Training Conditions document provides guidelines for adult sport while the Return to Playing conditions document provides guidelines for junior sport.

Full contact training and competition can resume immediately for juniors including friendly matches. Non-contact training is permitted for senior sport.

Sport and Recreation Victoria stated that only non-contact training or competition was permitted, if at least one participant in a community sport was 19 years old or over.

“From mid-July, subject to the advice of Victoria’s Chief Health Officer and the continued management of the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), adults can resume full-contact training from 13 July and full-contact competition from 20 July,” they said.

Some changes also apply to both junior and adult sport. Clubrooms, change rooms and showers can now be reopened for use at training or games.

The SRV has said that the minimum number participants required to conduct the sport should participate in the activity. Football Victoria is permitting normal squad sizes to undertake training.

Spectators are also allowed at training or games. Groups of up to 10 people are permitted however social distancing protocols must be followed. The groups must also be spread out around the ground.

In its Returning to Training Conditions guidelines, Football Victoria said that the conditions in the document are mandatory to limit the spread of COVID-19.

“Football Victoria’s priority is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the football community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal and Victorian State governments have announced a roadmap to cautiously reintroduce football in a staged approach,” they said.

“The first stage was a limited return to training. The second stage extended the number of players who could train. The third stage now splits player activity based on age.”

Football in Victoria will resume from early July. NPL Junior Boys are set to resume over 4th and 5th of July. NPL Junior Girls, Community Club Juniors and MiniRoos will resume over the 11th and 12th of July.

July 25-26 will see the the return of Football Victoria NPL Senior, VPLW, State League Seniors and Metropolitan/Masters leagues as part of the updated announcements.

Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Sky Sports extends rights to NIFL

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will be the exclusive broadcaster of Football in the region once again.

The Northern Ireland Football League has announced that Sky Sports will once again be the exclusive broadcaster of top-flight football in the region for the next three years.

The Irish League has had a long-lasting partnership with Sky over the years and the agreement will see the relationship in place until the end of the 2024/25 season.

The new agreement will see four Danske Bank Premiership fixtures and the BetMcLean League Cup final broadcast live across the UK & Ireland each season.

Northern Ireland Football Chief Executive, Gerard Lawlor:

“We sincerely thank Sky Sports for their continued backing of our game and we look forward to showcasing some of the best NI Football League matches together over the next three seasons,” he said.

“To continue to have the invaluable support of such a high-profile broadcaster shows how far our league has progressed in recent years as we bring our game to an increasing audience of loyal fans.

“The NI Football League brand is continuing to grow outside of the confines of Northern Ireland, and through Sky Sports, many football fans are now becoming more familiar with the rich history of our clubs and as well as some of the household names that have played in the Irish League.”

Sky Sports Director of Football, Gary Hughes:

“As a long-term partner to the Northern Ireland Football League, we’re delighted to extend Sky Sports’ support of the league and ensure that its entertaining action continues to be available to our customers,” he said.

“Sky Sports customers will be able to enjoy the Northern Ireland Football league alongside our ever-expanding football offering in the UK & Ireland which includes over 500 live games in 2022, from the Premier League, EFL, Scottish Premiership and FA Women’s Super League as well as international action in the form of World Cup Qualifiers, and this month’s Africa Cup of Nations – placing Sky Sports as the home of live football.”

Valencia CF presents revised stadium upgrade plans

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia CF President Anil Murthy has stated the club will not deliver a “low-cost stadium” after holding talks with Mayor Joan Ribó over reviving the long-running Nuevo Mestella project.

Valencia’s stadium, the Nuevo Mestalla, was originally under construction in 2009. However, over the last 12 years, due to financial issues and negotiation breakdowns, construction has never been completed and the situation has become known as one of the world’s most notorious stadium projects.

Murthy presented revised plans to a Council delegation led by Ribó, with the club seeking to recommence work on the stadium in order to ensure it retains the advantages granted to it under an ATE construction license given in 2012.

The plans presented to the council include a stadium capacity between 43,000 to 46,000, expandable to 60,000. The stadium would have a second ring dedicated almost exclusively to leisure and restaurant offerings, while the roof will be fitted with solar panels in an effort to drive sustainability.

Valencia Mayor, Joan Ribo:

“Initially it is proposed for a capacity comparable to that which the (Mestalla) stadium currently has (48,500), but expandable to 62,000 spectators. But I think this is not the fundamental element,” he said.

“The fundamental element is the novelty of this second ring that has seemed to me to be a remarkable element that is not in many football stadia. They propose a roof that is made of photovoltaic panels, which is an example at that level that I want to value.

“They have assured us that they have guarantees with the bank where they have the debt, which is now Caixabank.

“They have presented us with a calendar where in June 2022 the works of the sports centre would begin, in October 2022 the start of the works of the stadium and in August 2024 the inauguration of the new Mestalla. The calendar seems realistic and possible, but if it is not met, they will listen to us.”

In December, Valencia revealed plans to use funds from LaLiga’s strategic venture, with global investment fund CVC Capital Partners to help finance the construction of its new stadium. Valencia is reportedly set to receive approximately $189 million AUD from LaLiga as part of the LaLiga Impulso venture. $125 million of which is set to head to the stadium project.

Valencia CF President, Anil Murthy:

“The meeting has been very positive. After the two meetings with the Generalitat, today we have taken an important step by formally presenting the project we have to the important institution, which is the City Council,” he said.

“We have agreed on recommencing work as soon as possible, after presenting the project to the Generalitat and the City Council.

“Nobody talks about a low-cost stadium. It’s going to be a stadium that’s going to give a lot of people a lot of hope and it’s going to mean a lot of investment in the city. It’s going to be something different and something attractive.”

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