COVID-19 has officially claimed the 2020 NPL and NPLW Victoria seasons, with Football Victoria cancelling all senior competitions in the Melbourne metropolitan area in the wake of the city’s virus spike.
"I hope to see that this week, but there are no guarantees. Again, we have to rely on everyone doing the right thing in order to drive numbers down.”
Nine people were admitted to intensive care in the state overnight due to the virus, taking the state’s total to 26. AFL star Bachar Houli's mother is among them, with the Richmond star releasing an emotional message to the community on Monday, pleading with people to do their part to fight the virus.
"What hurts truly is the fact that no one from her family members can go and visit which is very, very tough. Please put yourself in this position."— AFL (@AFL) July 13, 2020
Our thoughts are with Bachar Houli, his mother Yamama and the extended Houli family 💛
More: https://t.co/DQMqCtTSM3 pic.twitter.com/BGMUOrITKb
“The decisions made by FV have always been made with the intention of enabling football to be played by as many people as possible,”
“However, despite the best efforts of our amazing clubs and their volunteers, FV staff and every one of the game’s stakeholders, it will be impossible to run complete competitions for every age group and level.
“As such, FV has made a series of decisions to establish which competitions can proceed as fixtured, which can be altered and which we have been forced to cancel. These have been incredibly difficult decisions to make in a challenging and complex environment.
“On the whole, we are incredibly disappointed that we have not been able to host a complete season for every participant who wishes to play football, however the health and safety of community remains our number one priority.”
The swathes of cancellations and modifications set to take effect across Victoria’s various competitions also raises the question of what will happen to the fees and registrations already paid to the governing body for the 2020 season.
“We understand the football community (reasonably) would like to have certainty in relation to both club and FV/FFA fees,” FV said.
“It is noted that both clubs and FV have incurred costs to date in twice preparing for the commencement of seasons, and in some competitions, the season had already commenced.
“In these unprecedented and rapidly changing times, FV has a responsibility to ensure the viability of our clubs and ultimately the game in Victoria.
“FV is working through this issue as an absolute priority in conjunction with our clubs and will respond on this once we have established a position that balances the best interests of the game and a reasonable apportionment of costs and accordingly fees.”