23 Apr 2020

A-League to resume 'as soon as possible' - FFA

2:21 pm on 23 April 2020

Football Federation Australia has committed to completing the 2019/20 A-League season as soon as possible but says players will be unlikely to begin training before the end of May.

The Phoenix celebrate a goal.

The Wellington Phoenix. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

FFA chief executive James Johnson said there was agreement between the governing body and the clubs that the season, which stopped on 23 March due to Covid-19, would be finished.

However, a firm date for resumption of the 11 team competition has not been set.

"Our goal is to deliver live, professional football and complete the season, and we have set a number of criteria that will define when this is going to be possible," Johnson said.

"We will resume play as soon as possible, and the first stage would see the players return to training. We would then schedule matches. It is difficult to see that process beginning before the end of May."

The FFA's criteria to return to play included being able to meet player and staff health and safety threshold requirements, state and federal border restrictions being lifted and large gathering restrictions allowing for the required squads and support staff to gather.

When the season stopped the Wellington Phoenix were in third place on the points table with six games still to play.

The Phoenix have already spent some time based in Australia as the league tried to continue playing once Covid-19 took hold in New Zealand and Australia.

It is unclear whether the Phoenix would need to be once against based across the Tasman to see out the competition.

Johnson said any recommencement of the competition would require an initial period of training and conditioning in order to ensure both the health and safety of the elite players and the integrity of the competition.