Football Federation Australia (FFA) tonight confirmed that the three Victorian-based Hyundai A-League teams, Melbourne City FC, Melbourne Victory and Western United FC, will remain in the state, as it seeks to gain exemptions for the teams to enter NSW to continue their season.
After the NSW Government’s decision to close its border with Victoria, FFA had been in active discussions throughout the day to seek to obtain an exemption under the NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Interstate Hotspots) Orders for the teams to enter NSW.
In addition to seeking an exemption to enter NSW directly, FFA was simultaneously working on an alternative plan to move the players and high-performance coaching staff to Canberra this evening, however, within the tight timeframes available ACT Government quarantine regulations could not be met.
Head of Leagues Greg O’Rourke said “We did absolutely everything we could to get the players and staff out of Victoria by midnight tonight, but in such a rapidly evolving situation, unfortunately it was just not possible.
“We are in discussions the NSW Government, and we will continue to seek the exemptions necessary for the teams to travel.
“Given the strict League and Club Protocols our Teams have been following since 2 June 2020, combined with the fact we have not had any Players or High Performance Staff return a positive COVID-19 testing result, we feel that we have a very good case to gain the exemptions and get the teams to NSW to complete the Hyundai A-League season, and we will make every attempt to do so.”
O’Rourke added, “I’d like to sincerely thank the players, their families and staff from the three clubs for their understanding and commitment this past 24 hours. The disappointment of getting prepared to travel out of Victoria to prepare for the restart not once but twice has been most frustrating for them and can assure them, the clubs’ members and fans that we are all committed to overcoming this evolving challenge and to play football again.”
FFA will provide a further update in due course.