All Australian Sport Postponed As A-League Comes To A Halt

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

The FFA is facing “tough decisions” after the A-League became the final Australian sporting domino to fall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The final rounds of the 2019-20 season have been postponed, effective immediately, after increasingly strict government restrictions made playing on untenable.

Monday night’s 2-1 win to Newcastle over Melbourne City at McDonald Jones Stadium will be the final A-League fixture until at least April 22, when the decision to postpone the competition will be reviewed.

FFA chief executive James Johnson said while the game will carry on after the coronavirus crisis, it will almost certainly have to undergo changes in structure.

“Our bottom line is we have to ensure that the organisation gets through this financially, and we also have to ensure that the stakeholders within the Australian football community can also do that,” Johnson said.

“This is going to mean that we’re going to have to make some very tough decisions that will affect our operations going forward.”

The impending closure of several states’ borders as well as New Zealand’s increasingly onerous controls in an attempt to halt the spread of the virus had given league bosses little option.

“Mission complicated became mission impossible,” Johnson said.

Discussions over the future of the game’s broadcast deal with Foxtel are yet to be held, with Johnson saying they were one of several organisations FFA will have to speak with in coming days.

“The reality is we were unable to continue, that’s a reality,” he said.

The decision will allow Wellington players and coaching staff to return to New Zealand before that country goes into a complete lockdown.

The Phoenix have spent over a week in quarantine at a Sydney hotel in a bid to complete the season and Johnson said he had “no regrets” about the decision to make them come to Australia in an attempt to play their fixtures.

Australian players Luke DeVere, Reno Piscopo, Jaushua Sotirio and Brandon Wilson have opted to stay rather than return with their teammates to New Zealand.

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