3 April 2020 version 2
Frequently asked questions MWFA / COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
PLEASE NOTE THIS DOCUMENT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME DUE TO THE RAPIDLY-CHANGING ENVIRONMENT WE ARE CURRENTLY IN
What should any member of the public do if they believe they have contracted the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or if they have cold and flu symptoms that is concerning them?
It would be socially irresponsible for the MWFA to answer this question in this forum. The best information on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and what people should do if they have symptoms, are worried or come in contact with a person who has the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is found here: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx
What is COVID-19 (Coronavirus)? How do I get information on the virus and the associated issues/changes it is causing?
The best information on the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is found here: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/diseases/Pages/coronavirus.aspx
Can I continue to play?
No you can not. All MWFA football matches have been suspended until at least 31 May. (Subject to change)
Can I continue to train?
No you can not. All MWFA football activities have been suspended until at least 31 May. (Subject to change)
Am I insured if a group of us play/train/have a kick around?
During the suspension of football period you are not covered.
What information has been used to form the decision?
The MWFA and Manly United is taking its advice from the Federal Government, which is communicating directly to FFA and Football NSW. This is an unprecedented public health situation and we will follow the instructions of the Federal Government.
What is meant by All football activities?
- Training sessions
- Pre season friendlies
- MWFA Competition matches
- Organised training sessions with external providers/academies/private providers
- MWFA Coach education courses
- Football Club events (muster days, grading days).
- Please note – Clubs and the MWFA should understand and apply the Federal Governments guidelines around number of people and safe distances (1.5m apart) when organising meetings to discuss/resolve this issue.
As of 29 March 2020, non-essential gatherings (which all of our events are), are limited to 2. This is subject to change by the Federal Government.
What exercise/training am I allowed to do?
Under the current Federal Government restrictions, which are now enforceable in NSW by law, you are able to exercise once a day in a group of no more two people. You must exercise in compliance with the public gathering requirements.
Who do I contact if I have further questions?
Players should direct their questions to their club in the first instance.
Do clubs need to shut down their academy sessions/extra training programs/links to external providers?
This is now strictly prohibited in line with the Governments restrictions on exercise. Players or registered coaches (Play Football system) are not permitted to take part in any football activity, which includes academy programs or extra training sessions that are directly or indirectly associated to your Club. Clubs need to be vigilant in ensuring this does not take place. Your club (and the players and coaches) are affiliated to the FFA, and you are required to follow the instruction that all football activities are suspended. You, the players and coach will not be insured. The concerns around a lack of insurance has now escalated from an exposure against injury to someone contracting COVID-19 (Coronavirus).
What about the academy / extra training / one on one sessions some players inevitably take part in?
All activities must be undertaken in line with the Governments restrictions on exercise.
What does this mean for our competitions structure?
The season is suspended, not cancelled. We are still working towards the resumption of an abbreviated 2020 football season with the clear intention of now trying to get as many games played as possible for our 18,000 players. We have started modelling football draws and competitions around a season that could resume from 1 June 2020 to as late as possible that will allow us play a decent number of games. This could include pushing the season slightly later than usual, with assistance from Northern Beaches and Mosman Councils. It is fair to assume that football will be different in 2020 to any other year as our country is in the middle of an unprecedented public health situation.
What does this mean for the draws that have been released?
We are currently looking at draws in line with the latest Federal Government advice and putting a structure in place that will allow us to play matches and conform with mass gathering regulations that could be in place when we are able to resume. This decision will be confirmed closer to the start date and clearly communicated to all clubs as per the usual communication avenues.
Is there a cut off date where the season would be called off?
No. The season is suspended, not cancelled. The situation is highly unpredictable and as we have seen to this time, it can change at any time. We will continue to take advice from the Federal Government and then make decisions on that direction.
Will we still have semi finals / grand finals?
It is fair to assume that football will be different in 2020 to any other year. It is the intention of the MWFA to re-shape the competition structure so all players get to play as many football games as possible. That may include grand finals but will likely mean that as many teams as possible will play matches right up to the final date we are able to use the grounds at the back end of the season.
What about Gala days
Gala days are not permitted under the current Federal Government guidelines as they constitute a mass gathering and are suspended under the current ban on all football activities.
What happens to my registration fees?
At this stage the football season is suspended, not cancelled.
This latest direction by the Federal Government and FFA to suspend the competition and restrict the ability to play football matches has further eaten into our traditional season and we are addressing what this means forregistration fees.
We are all aware that there have been costs incurred at every level of the game to prepare for the season before a ball is kicked. FFA, Football NSW and MWFA have all made cuts and are minimising any future costs while being ready to recommence football whenever that time comes. With each week missed, there is also a drop in the cost of running competitions (referee fees, lighting, field hire etc) and this will also be reflected in the outcome, as will any possible benefits from Government funding packages.
If the disruption continues beyond 31 May, of course we will need to place a sharper focus on the exact extent of discounts on the 2021 football season or refunds that will be offered, but until we know the full extent of the impact it is very difficult to have definite answers. It is also unfair to the broader football community to start offering refunds now as the true impact is unknown and refunds paid now will impact on the players who stay and play in the 2020 season when it starts.
What happens if I deregister?
A player is entitled to de-register but they need to understand the following. Any player that de-registers at this point (after the grading of teams) can only re-register at the discretion of the MWFA, which is a long-time rule. Also, a final decision around any refund of registration fees for people who deregister will be made when we know the full extent of the disruption and it will be based on the broad principle of trying to ensure that all Clubs, MWFA, Football NSW and FFA are able to get through this difficult time in a position that will enable football as we know it to continue into the future.
What is happening to the fees that go to Football NSW and FFA?
FFA and Football NSW have both made significant cuts to their costs and staff. Importantly they are also leading the discussions with Federal and State Government to ensure grassroots football and grassroots football participants are included in the various stimulus and rescue packages. This has also prompted the understanding that there is a significant decrease to the traditional way we pass on the portion of registration fees attributable to Football NSW and the FFA.
What happens to the Active Kids voucher that was used to pay registration?
Football NSW is speaking to the State Government in relation to the status of the money that has been given to clubs for the Active Kids vouchers and the MWFA has been communicating with the clubs in relation to this.
I have registered for a Coach Education Course / Workshop, will they be rescheduled?
We will endeavour to re-schedule Coach Education events once the suspension of football activities is over. Registered participants have been contacted and the MWFA is currently working through the schedule to outline new dates.