FFA have re-confirmed their intention to resume the current A-League season as soon as possible, however a firm date for the return of the competition is yet to be set.
In a statement on Thursday, the FFA identified four key points of criteria that need to be satisfied before a possible resumption.
Those criteria include:
· Player and staff health and safety threshold requirements
· State and Federal border restrictions being lifted
· Large gathering restrictions allowing for the required squads and support staff to gather
· Social distancing protocols being agreed with governments to allow the holding of professional games
FFA is continuing to speak with government health authorities about these elements and when it is suitable to return to play.
If the A-League season were to resume, clubs would have to undergo an initial period of training and conditioning to meet health and safety requirements and uphold the integrity of the competition.
FFA CEO James Johnson claimed there was agreement between the FFA and A-League clubs that this season would eventually be completed.
“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,” he 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.
“Football takes its responsibilities as a good corporate citizen very seriously, and remains committed to working in partnership with the Government to slow the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, we want to play our part in supporting the social and mental wellbeing of the Australian football family and all sports-loving Australians.
“Ultimately, the coronavirus will have the final say on when we can get the season started again, and completed.
“We want to thank the clubs and players who have been understanding of the current circumstances and worked collaboratively with us in relation to this matter throughout this period. I would also like to acknowledge our supporters, commercial partners and football community who continue to remain engaged and connected during this difficult time, and we thank them for their continued support.”
FFA will provide a further update in May 2020.