A-League season to restart with Melbourne teams in quarantine

An A-League match (by Ashley Feder/Getty Images)

Football Federation Australia has confirmed that the A-League 2019-20 season will resume this Friday, July 17, after a four-month suspension due to Covid-19.

Sydney FC will face Wellington Phoenix at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in the first game. A limited number of supporters will be able to attend the game in line with government guidelines.

The season restart was originally slated to see Melbourne Victory play Western United on Thursday, but with all three Melbourne teams currently in quarantine after crossing the border from the locked-down state of Victoria into New South Wales on Saturday, that game was postponed.

Australia closed the border between its two most populous states, Victoria and NSW, last week due to a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in Victorian state capital Melbourne.

The three Victoria-based teams raced to the airport on Monday, July 6 in an attempt to leave the state before the closure, but were held up when their charter plane could not take off due to fog.

Football authorities have since secured exemptions from government to extract the Victoria based teams from the state so that the league could restart.

FFA’s head of leagues, Greg O’Rourke said: “We have faced many challenges over the past week since we released the original match schedule and it will need a few tweaks to reschedule the Melbourne teams considering their relocation to Sydney.

“Under the conditions of the exemption from the NSW Government, Melbourne City FC, Melbourne Victory and Western United FC will undergo a 14-day quarantine period before being able to re-join the competition which has meant we have had to update our match schedule accordingly.”

The rejigged schedule for the rest of the season is expected to be released today.