Football Victoria confirms support for COVIDSafe app and prepares for the resumption of football

Football Victoria (FV) today confirmed its full support for the Australian Government’s COVIDSafe app and is pleased to learn that Football Federation Australia has produced Guidelines in readiness for a return to community football.

The app has been launched by the Federal Government as part of its plan to slow the spread of COVID-19, and it will help state and territory health officials to quickly alert people who may be at risk of having contact with the virus. 

Football Victoria Chief Executive Peter Filopoulos encouraged the Victorian football community to download the COVIDSafe app, echoing sentiments from the FFA and other Member Federations.

“Having already achieved tremendous success as a nation in helping to restrict the spread of COVID-19, and with Victoria in particular having contained much of the spread, we now must do all we can to wipe out this disease,” he said.

“As part of that, we’re encouraging the entire Victorian football community to download the COVIDSafe app. The sooner we can isolate cases, the sooner our health system can manage this crisis and the faster we’ll be able to resume play.”

Filopoulos said the vigilance shown by Victorians had enabled the number of new cases to fall significantly, meaning that football could be in a position to return sooner than originally anticipated.

“Our Federal Government has made the resumption of Schools and Community Sport a priority once it is clear that the worst of the pandemic is behind us,” he said.

“If the numbers keep improving, and we have a sustained period with no new cases, we expect that there will be a gradual re-introduction of community-based activity, of which football is a central part.”

 “Our NPL and Community clubs have been absolutely fantastic in the way they have navigated this period. The way the football community has banded together, followed the rules and committed to staying the course during this difficult period has shown the collective strength of our game.”

While football remains suspended until May 31, Filopoulos said clubs should begin to start planning towards a resumption.

“Our transition to closing football down was extremely difficult and we know it’s not as simple as flicking a switch – there’s a huge number of issues to consider for every club, and no two clubs have the exact same set of circumstances,” he said.

“However, now that things are improving, our information from higher authorities is that clubs should start discussing plans for how they will approach the resumption period. It’s also possible that training – or modified training – may be permitted before competitions are allowed.”

“We are in the advanced stages of scenario planning regarding a return to football and have worked through several different competition models at both NPL and Community level. We’re looking forward to sharing these with our clubs when we have a clear idea of the resumption date.”

Football Victoria remains in regular contact with the FFA, State Government and other sporting associations and is committed to a collaborative approach that sees all sports working together to share facilities and access.

“It’s no secret that football has the highest participation numbers of any team sport, but this is a time for all sports to come together and work together to find solutions,” Filopoulos said. “We have already flagged that our season might be running later into the year than normal. That means we’ll be working with Governments at all levels to find solutions that enable everyone to play.”

 “So far, Sport and Recreation Victoria have shown fantastic leadership to bring all the sports together and to create a framework that will enable every sport to find a sense of normality. As their decisions are made and passed on to us, we promise to relay it on to the football community as quickly as possible.”