Firstly, I hope everyone is coping with the current lockdown and staying safe and sane.
Today I was in a briefing with Football NSW and the other Associations to get further advice from the NSW Government, through NSW Health and the NSW Office of Sport.
Firstly, please see below some points that we all need to consider in relation to the current Public Health Order:
- All organised football activities within Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast and Wollongong are suspended until 11.59pm on Friday 9 July 2021.
- The MWFA, the 17 clubs and players are not permitted to take part in any organised formal training and matches
- The intention of the Public Health Order is to limit the gathering of people and the provisions around exercising does not allow clubs and teams to conduct training sessions with 9 or 10 people.
- The MWFA, the 17 clubs and players are not permitted to conduct or take part in any organised formal school holiday clinics or extra training programs. Registered Childcare based “Vacation Care Centres” are entitled to operate under very strict COVID-Safe guidelines as they are deemed to be “child-minding” BUT sporting-based holiday camps are not permitted.
- Any football activity which takes place during the period is not sanctioned by Football NSW and, therefore the Personal accident insurance that protects players and the Public Liability and Management Liability insurances that protects clubs and club volunteers/committee members may not apply.
- Private providers may well be operating, and they do so at their risk and players taking part do so at their risk (both from the legal ramifications of ignoring the Public Health Order and from injury/insurance).
- As Community Sporting organisations, we feel we have a strong moral obligation to put the health of our players and community standards/expectations before financial gain during these School Holidays.
From a football and competitions point of view, the MWFA Board met last night and (assuming the Stay-at-home orders are lifted at 11.59pm on Friday 9 July), we are progressing with tentative plans to do the following:
- Move all matches set down for Friday 9 July to either Saturday 10 July (men’s and boys) or Sunday 11 July (women’s and girls) so we can complete a full round if the order is lifted
- Reschedule matches lost (where possible) into wet weather weekends and spare dates later in the season
- Alter the Men’s AL1 draw to schedule round 13 (the final round of matches to get all teams playing each other once) to be played on Saturday 10 July – or the first week back from the lockdown. This will allow that competition to split and protect the agreed integrity of the competition in relation to promotion and relegation.
We will keep a close eye on how the situation unfolds and make further decisions when we have a better indication of whether the stay-at-home order will be lifted on Friday 9 July.
Can you please communicate this to all of your members and players both directly and through your communication and social media channels.