"After the NSW Government’s decision to close its border with Victoria, active discussions occurred throughout the day to seek to obtain an exemption under the NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Interstate Hotspots) Orders for the teams to enter NSW," said the FFA.

"In addition to seeking an exemption to enter NSW directly, on an alternative plan was developed to move the players and high-performance coaching staff to Canberra this evening, however, within the tight timeframes available ACT Government quarantine regulations could not be met."

"We did absolutely everything we could to get the players and staff out of Victoria by midnight, but in such a rapidly evolving situation, unfortunately it was just not possible," said Head of Leagues Greg O’Rourke.

“We are in discussions the NSW Government, and we will continue to seek the exemptions necessary for the teams to travel.

“Given the strict League and Club Protocols our Teams have been following since 2 June 2020, combined with the fact we have not had any Players or High Performance Staff return a positive COVID-19 testing result, we feel that we have a very good case to gain the exemptions and get the teams to NSW to complete the Hyundai A-League season, and we will make every attempt to do so.”

O’Rourke added: “I’d like to sincerely thank the players, their families and staff from the three clubs for their understanding and commitment this past 24 hours. T

"he disappointment of getting prepared to travel out of Victoria to prepare for the restart not once but twice has been most frustrating for them and can assure them, the clubs’ members and fans that we are all committed to overcoming this evolving challenge and to play football again.”