Australia suspends A League season

Tanya Simon
March 24, 2020

"Our priority is to ensure the safety of both the football community and the community at large", FFA CEO James Johnson said.

Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) has suspended its 2020 season due to global coronavirus pandemic.The NRL club CEOs were informed of the decision on Monday evening."Our pandemic and biosecurity experts said due to the outbreak it is no longer safe for our players to play".

Governing body Football Federation Australia (FFA) said its board and the clubs had unanimously chose to call the season off late on Monday, with most Australian states having already banned travellers from other parts of the country.

Six rounds of regular season matches needed to be completed before the playoffs that were originally set to start in May, but the A-League is now frozen with no timetable for resumption, barring a "status assessment" set for April 22, when administrators will review the virus situation.

"As a national competition that is played in nearly all parts of Australia, also in New Zealand, mission complicated became mission impossible".

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On the weekend, more than 1,000 workers from elsewhere in the province arrived on a train back to the city for work. The lifting of travel orders follows an easing of lockdown restrictions in the region in recent days.

Sydney FC are now leading the 2019-2020 Hyundai A-League, with 48 points in 20 matches.

"The clubs and players have indicated to FFA that they will be ready to continue should the competition be able to resume".

The other title contenders, Melbourne City FC, are in second place with 40 points in 23 games.

The A-League said it would immediately suspend the season from Tuesday. "We will feel the financial pressure on the game at all levels", he said. "As each passing day raises additional concerns for the safety of both, it is imperative that we follow the lead of governments at national and state level and take the necessary precautionary and proactive measures and in doing so play our part in preventing the spread and impact of Covid-19". "But will we need to make changes, will things look different, I'd say yes".

"On behalf of FFA Board and each Hyundai A-League Club, we thank the players for their assistance during these extraordinary times".

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