A-League to continue despite coronavirus with Wellington Phoenix set to relocate to Australia

Sydney FC
The Australian competition will continue for the remaining six regular-season rounds but without fans

Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced that the remainder of the A-League season will go ahead but behind closed doors, while Wellington Phoenix will play all their matches in Australia.

The future of the 2019-20 campaign has been in doubt since Australia and New Zealand introduced strict travel conditions amid the coronavirus pandemic which has suspended top-flight competitions across Europe.

Travellers to Australia and New Zealand must self-isolate for a 14-day period due to concerns over COVID-19, however, the A-League will continue for the remaining six regular-season rounds but without fans.

Victory travelled to Wellington to face the Phoenix on Sunday, which means round 24 and 25 fixtures involving the two teams will be rescheduled as they self-isolate.

The upcoming W-League Grand Final will also take place but behind closed doors.

"The scale of football means that we have a key role to play in maintaining the health and wellbeing of Australians, as well as their families and the wider community," FFA CEO James Johnson said, with Australia's football governing body to review the situation for the upcoming finals series.

"We are doing so by allowing people to play, in line with the current government position but with additional guidance to further improve social distancing at football fields around the country.

"We have been working closely with our stakeholders, government health officials and our own chief medical officer to develop our policies for the whole of the game following the COVID-19 outbreak. The situation is subject to constant change, and further measures may be necessary in the future.

"The decision to play the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2019-20 season, and the Westfield W-League 2020 Grand Final behind closed doors was made in consultation with the clubs and in accordance with the latest federal government advice.

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"The health and safety of all members of the football community, including players, coaches, referees, volunteers, administrators and fans continues to be of paramount importance. We will continue to work with the government and seek advice as the situation changes."

In the A-League, Sydney FC top the table by 10 points, ahead of Melbourne City, with the Phoenix third.

Five people have died from more than 299 coronavirus cases in Australia. Globally, there have been over 169,000 cases with more than 6,400 casualties.