No date set for A-League return

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.

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Philip Panas is a sports journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and industry matters, drawing on his knowledge and passion of the game.

Federal Budget commits $97 million investment for sport programs

The 2024-25 Federal Budget, which was released on Tuesday night, includes more than $97 million over two years to the ASC to extend Sporting Schools, the Local Sporting Champions, and Local Para Champions programs, and participation funding to help more Australians get active.

This two-year extension runs until 30 June 2026 and helps kids of all different sports afford an opportunity to play at a local level if they come from and under privileged background.

Football Australia is a part of the Sporting Schools program, with each state offering participation Officers and local clubs that are ready to implement in-school and after-school programs for students of ages up to Year 8, plus all abilities programs.

Football Australia use this program to link local football clubs with schools to facilitate an ongoing relationship and provide further opportunity for students to continue their football journey outside of school, whether that be MiniRoos Kick Off, MiniRoos Club or Junior Football.

More than 24,000 young Australians will be supported with the Local Sporting Champions (LSC) and Local Para Champions (LSP) grants programs continuing for a further two years.

These are fantastic programs that have supported Australia’s best athletes including many Matildas like Courtney Nevin, Cortnee Vine, Alex Chidiac, Teagan Micah and Clare Hunt.

World Cup veteran’s Caitlin Foord and Ellie Carpenter also rose to success with assistance from the LSC program throughout their junior careers.

Australian Sports Commission CEO Kieren Perkins OAM mentions the importance of this investment to continue critical national sporting programs.

“Once again, I want to thank Minister Wells and the Australian Government for their continued support and investment in Australian sport,” Perkins said in a statement.

“This funding extends critical sport participation programs like the Participation Grant program and Sporting Schools which provides free and fun sporting opportunities to more than two million students each year.

“This follows last week’s announcement of $249.7 million to upgrade the AIS Campus to ensure our athletes have access to the world’s best testing and training facilities, and accommodation ahead of the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

This is a fantastic initiative that will benefit football amongst other sports and has a history of helping kids of all skill levels play in their respective sport.

The Federal Budget have put in almost $350 to improve sport, mostly around the 2032 Olympic Games but it is great to see some investment in the world game after the huge success of the Women’s World Cup last year.

The biggest Female Football Week to date draws to a close

Female Football week is at its climax across the country with each respective state firmly involved in what has been a monumental year of growth and perseverance with one of the hottest topics amongst the sporting plethora across the nation.

Symbolising the significant strides in which female football has made down under, off the back of its maiden World Cup hosting tenure.

Football Queensland throughout the grand occasion were busy shining a spotlight upon the continuous growth of participation, encouraging women of all ages to become involved and immersed within the global game.

Football Victoria – Commentary

Football Victoria (FV) celebrated women’s football week in style.

Round 8 of the National Premier League Women’s (NPLW) competition within Victoria was unique throughout its coverage, with every match throughout the round featuring a female commentator.

A monumental feat spearheaded by the FV Commentary team, this was the first time an all female commentary round was executed.

Football Queensland

FQ CEO Robert Cavallucci disclosed his appreciation for the momentous occasion via the FQ website.

“While celebrations like FFW serve as a crucial milestone in FQ’s journey towards achieving 50/50 gender parity by 2027 and helps to further reinforce our commitment to enhancing accessibility and inclusivity, our support is not confined to this week, as we remain dedicated to prioritising our female football community year-round.”

Football Queensland – Award Ceremony

Paying homage to Referees, Club Volunteers, Players and Community Champions of the year was conducted through awards up for grabs.

FQ showcased an award ceremony towards multiple facets of football throughout the state.

A nice incentive dedicated to the recognition and appraisal of the hard work undertaken by different areas of football.

The Female Football Week club of the year was awarded to Central Football Club following their extraordinary contribution to female football within Queensland.

Displayed throughout the clubs commitment to female football, the club are fully dedicated to the advancement of women’s football.

Harvesting a fostering environment throughout the club, alongside the nourishment of young promising female footballers has been symbolised by FQ.

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