All grassroots football matches and training in Australia has been suspended for four weeks up until Tuesday, 14 April 2020.
After talks with all nine State and Territory Member Federations, Football Federation Australia (FFA) made the decision in the best interests of helping to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
The FFA has produced COVID-19 Guidelines that put the health and wellbeing of the Australian football community, and the wider public, as the number one priority.
With the virus having an impact all over the world, including the closing of state and national borders, and many schools in Australia, FFA CEO James Johnson explained that the football community had a responsibility to come together and put people’s safety first.
“It is very regrettable that grassroots football will not proceed for the next month,” Johnson said.
“As good and responsible citizens, we recognise that our game of approximately 1.96 million participants has a significant role to play in slowing the spread of the virus.
“More Australians play grassroots football than any other team sport in the country and we have been able to listen to the voice of our community through the establishment of the National COVID-19 Working Committee and our Guidelines, who have expressed a desire to contribute more to the nation at this time through a unified and Whole of Game response.”
In such a fast-moving situation, where countries all over the world are making life-changing decisions on a daily basis, Mr Johnson acknowledged the importance of being reactive to the latest developments.
The National COVID-19 Working Committee, which includes the FFA and all nine State and Territory Member Federations, are meeting every day to consider the latest medical advice, information from the Government and the feelings of the football community.
“As a game we need to be responsive and agile in how we deal with this situation,” said Mr Johnson.
“We are working together around the clock to deal with this challenge.
“We will continue to assess our position regularly to ensure that it is reflective of the most accurate state of affairs and views of the game.”
Mr Johnson added: “I would like to acknowledge how Member Federations have worked so constructively with FFA, through the Working Committee and established Guidelines, to arrive at what is right for our players, coaches, officials, their families and the wider community.”