Magic of the Cup could still be on the 2020 agenda for Victorian community and National Premier League sides, whose return to the field took another step closer on Monday following the easing of COVID-19 related restrictions by the State Government.
In the wake of Prime Minister Scott Morrison's announcement on Friday that National Cabinet was advising a limited move towards easing of COVID-19 related restrictions, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews revealed on Monday that the state was moving to relax its restrictions; including allowances for groups of ten – that includes sporting teams – to take part in non-contact, socially-distant outdoor-based activities from midnight tonight.
Victoria recorded seven new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the state’s active total to 116. In all, 1494 Victorians have contracted the disease, with 18 deaths and 1360 recovered.
Now Football Victoria has begun discussions with Sport and Recreation Victoria on how a return to training – a necessary first step before competitive football can resume – can be implemented.
Football Victoria welcomes @VicGovAu’s decision to ease Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions, as we await detailed guidance to complete Return to Training guidelines. Details: https://t.co/1pSwqh7OLw #LiveLoveFootball pic.twitter.com/1CQ7ZhDTeI— Football Victoria (@footballvic) May 11, 2020
The guidance on issues like facilities access, hygiene protocols, and the expected timelines for further activities – is expected today. Football Victoria is also clarifying the insurance situation for participants and clubs.
“We need to develop some return to play guidelines and principles that clubs can follow when they are organising training in the next few weeks,” FV CEO Peter Filopoulos told FTBL.
“In the meantime, we’ll work in more detail around the return of competitions to play - which will be the end of June or the start of July, I think.
"If we can clarify all of that, we’ll get it all out to clubs, and as soon as they can open up facilities and engage with councils and engage with players, they can work out how they’re going to do it in groups of 10 for the next few weeks.
“But we’ve some key questions around the 10: is it per facility? Is it per pitch? Some things need to be worked out with the government first."
Initially put in place in March, the suspension of NPL and community football was extended by the FFA and Member Federations until the end of May, however, Filopoulos feels some form of footballing activity could now resume earlier.