Soccer aims for its 2020 return

Football Victoria has set its return to play dates in 2020. 190253 Picture: STEWART CHAMBERS

By Nick Creely

Football Victoria (FV) is aiming to have all competitive soccer back and up and running by early July after setting its proposed return to play dates.

Off the back of the Victorian State Government’s decision to ease Stage 3 restrictions relating to Covid-19, FV has finalised its strategy to get clubs, and leagues, back into action.

In a statement issued on 19 May, FV advised that – for all community clubs, both seniors and juniors – the proposed resumption date is 28 June. For all NPL junior clubs the date is 20 June, while for all NPL senior clubs a resumption in early July has been set.

With the government allowing clubs across the state to resume training in groups of 10 or less, FV has said it’s about maintaining caution and adopting a sensible and safe strategy to ensure there are no health risks.

“FV is committed to taking a cautious and sensible approach with regard to the safety of all participants in our sport, be they players, coaches, staff or fans,” the statement read.

“However, we also understand there is a pressing need for clarity regarding when competitions are expected to resume.

“FV has been engaged in ongoing discussions with FFA, State and Federal Governments [including Sport and Recreation Victoria (SRV)] and with clubs at all levels to establish a suitable time to Return to Play.

“This has involved the development of a number of scenarios which are still being finalised.”

FV, has, however advised that these are target dates only and are subject to further health advice. But the organisation believes setting a date is indicative of its commitment to get competitive football at at levels back up and running.

“Football Victoria will continue to keep the football community informed and updated in the coming weeks with regard to any developments, especially in regard to the resumption of increased training numbers and, ultimately, the return of competition play,” the statement said.

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