James Johnson’s message to Australia’s football family

To our football family across Australia,

This weekend marks the first weekend since the temporary suspension of grassroots football activity across the nation came into effect due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. As the largest club-based participation sport in Australia, with almost two million participants, football has an important role to play as a good and responsible citizen in slowing the spread of the virus. 

Suspending grassroots football across the country was one of the hardest decisions the organisation has ever had to make, but it was necessary and done so in the interests of the health and wellbeing of all those that love and participate in our game. 

However, we understand that this weekend, and over the coming weeks, grassroots players, coaches, volunteers, and officials will be longing for the sport they love – football – and the unrivalled camaraderie, connection, and sense of community that comes with it. 

As our organisation now focuses on placing the game first, we want you to know that despite tough times, we are doing all we can to ensure that we all still have every opportunity to engage and connect through the game. 

One such initiative which we have been working on is a suite of digital content activations that we anticipate will go live next week. 

This platform will provide social and beginner-to-amateur footballers especially with a virtual place to learn new skills and engage with the game by sharing their #PlayAtHomeChallenge efforts (I might have to dust off my old Copa Mundial’s!). 

This suite will be housed on the PlayFootball.com.au website, with content also shared across all of FFA’s primary social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

We ask that you keep up to date via our website and other media platforms so you have the latest information on our initiatives.

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Don’t forget that despite the suspension, we still have access to some excellent football via various digital platforms. On Saturday, Melbourne City FC and Sydney FC will contest the Westfield W-League Grand Final.

It will be a fantastic game of football and a timely reminder of why we love this game so much – I wish both teams the very best of luck! The Hyundai A-League also enters its final regular season rounds before the Finals Series gets underway, so please continue to support your teams. 

We appreciate the level of uncertainty this situation is having on the football community, and can only thank you for your understanding, patience, and commitment to the game and one another as this unprecedented situation evolves. 

Football is taking strong measures in response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19, but we encourage those in our family to stay calm and connected, so that when the suspension is ultimately lifted everyone is ready to return to the pitch.

James Johnson
Football Federation Australia Chief Executive Officer