Australia’s highest-level professional men’s football league A-league is set to resume on July 16 with Melbourne Victory taking on Western United at AAMI Park in Melbourne, Football Federation Australia (FFA)announced on Tuesday.
The FFA revealed more details about its restart plan after it finalised an agreement with relative parties to extend the 2019-2020 season to August 31 on Monday..
After the match between the Victorian rivals kick-start, the remaining 27 games of the regular season will be played over 28 days. The organisation will release more schedules closer to date as it expects further relaxations in border controls and travel restrictions.
“We have developed multiple draw options for the completion of the regular season,” FFA’s Head of Leagues, Greg O’Rourke, said in an official statement.
“We are confident that we will be able to release the revised draw for the completion of the A-League 2019/20 season soon,” he added.
A-League clubs will return to training from Wednesday after the completion of COVID-19 medical screenings and the implementation of operational plans to minimise the risk of infection at their training sites and club facilities.
If more restrictions are eased, clubs from Victoria, Queensland and South Australia could remain and play in their home cities rather than relocating to New South Wales (NSW) to complete the season.
O’Rourke explained that changes to the federal government’s rules for crowds in Stadiums, which will come into effect from July 1, would likely enable the season to be completed with fans in the stands.
“Last Friday our Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, announced that stadiums with capacities of 40,000 people or fewer could be permitted to host up to 10,000 people,” he said.
“We will continue to work closely with the federal and state governments, as well as our venues, to consider how we can accommodate as many club members and fans as possible at matches when the competition resumes.”
Meanwhile, FFA will continue to work collaboratively with the competition’s host broadcaster, Fox Sports, regarding the broadcast arrangements to complete the season.