FOOTBALL Victoria aims to restart the 2021 league season this weekend.
The state body emailed clubs on Friday with a return to competition update, a link to its updated return to training and playing conditions, information on the competitions calendar, postponed fixtures and a link to its COVID-19 Football Portal providing information on the biosecurity requirements clubs must enforce.
FV also urged clubs to register their matches with the state government’s public event framework to ensure COVID-19 safety for attendees, staff and organisers.
FV’s email acknowledged the current circumstances faced by clubs coming out of lockdown as well as the restrictive parameters of the return to training and playing conditions.
“This has been a consideration when planning for the remainder of the competition season however unfortunately there may be no ‘ideal’ environment for the remainder of the season,” the FV email said.
“All clubs are facing the same challenges and the ability for the football community to be adaptable, agile, and understanding of the circumstances is vital in completing the competition season with minimal further impactful disruptions.
“The future is uncertain therefore it is pivotal that we utilise, to the maximum capacity, the window of opportunity to return to competition fixtures as efficiently as possible.”
FV reserves the right to reschedule any fixtures for Friday 18 June casting doubt over Chelsea’s away match against FC Noble Hurricanes.
However both clubs are proceeding as if this Friday’s fixture will go ahead as FV has yet to contact them about a possible switch.
“As far as I know our away game will be Friday night if restrictions allow us to play,” Chelsea gaffer Carlo Melino said.
FV has mandated strict return to training and playing conditions and has outlined a range of sanctions should clubs fail to comply.
“Breach of these conditions may void insurance policies under the FA (Football Australia) insurance program, may be dealt with under FV’s Grievance, Disciplinary and Tribunal Bylaw and may incur substantial fines under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2018.
“Clubs must source written approval from the landowner (council) before training/competition commences.”
Under current restrictions changing rooms are to remain closed and total attendees at matches are capped at 150.
Clubs are hoping for these requirements to be amended during one of the state government’s daily media conferences this week.
FV’s NPL and Community Competitions Team continues to work on the calendar for the remainder of the season taking into consideration a range of factors including the integrity of competitions, high performance and technical expertise and known facility constraints across different levels of competition.
The guidelines for competitions remain as follows:
“Maintaining the integrity of competitions including the strict promotion and relegation systems in place for senior competitions.
“Utilising the remainder of the year including catch-up rounds and finals dates to ensure as many fixtures as possible are played.”
However FV added a crucial proviso to its email reminding clubs of the controlling body’s right to revise current guidelines.
“Please note, the information provided is based on current circumstances and may change, at FV’s sole discretion at any point in time (especially if there are any further interruptions to the competition season).”
Skye United has been caught up in the updated competitions conditions.
It had been fixtured to play its State 2 South-East match against North Caulfield at Skye Recreation Reserve on Thursday night but is now trying to reschedule the match to Sunday.
Skye favours a 7pm kick-off (5pm for the reserves) but was unable to confirm the switch as we went to press.
Langwarrin is the only local club still involved in the FFA Cup and FV is expected to contact Langy this week to confirm a date for its away tie against Moreland Zebras.
NEXT WEEK’S GAMES
Friday 18 June, 8.30pm:
FC Noble Hurricanes v Chelsea – Alex Nelson Reserve
Saturday 19 June, 3pm:
South Springvale v Mornington – Warner Reserve
Peninsula Strikers v Mooroolbark – Centenary Park
Brighton v Frankston Pines – Dendy Park
Somerville Eagles v Sandown Lions – Tyabb Central Reserve
Endeavour Utd v Seaford Utd – Reema Reserve
Dandenong South v Baxter – Tatterson Park
Aspendale Stingrays v Knox Utd – Jack Grut Reserve
South East Utd v Rosebud – WJ Warner Reserve
White Star Dandenong v Mount Martha – Greaves Reserve
Saturday 19 June, 3.15pm:
Manningham Utd Blues v Langwarrin – Park Avenue Reserve
Sunday 20 June, 7pm:
Skye Utd v North Caulfield – Skye Recreation Reserve