The prospect of the 2019-20 A-League season finishing in a NSW hub is almost inevitable as Victoria’s coronavirus crisis deepens.
Wednesday’s release of the schedule for the 27 remaining regular season fixtures as well as the finals was quickly thrown into doubt when the NSW government announced it would ban people from Melbourne’s COVID hotspots from entering the state.
Under a public health order anyone found in NSW from an affected state could be jailed for six months or face an $11,000 fine.
News of the development is understood to have sent FFA officials into discussions over how the bans could affect their resumption plans.
Almost all of the remaining fixtures are set to be played in a NSW hub, with Brisbane Roar’s July 19 clash with Adelaide United at Gold Coast’s CBUS Super Stadium the only confirmed fixture outside the state.
Six fixtures involving Victorian clubs, including the first match since March’s shutdown on July 16 between Melbourne Victory and Western United, are yet to have a confirmed venue.
Despite knowing most of their matches will have to be played in enemy territory, Roar chief executive David Pourre was keeping a positive mindset for his club’s chances.
“We’re just being adaptable,” Pourre told AAP.
“It’s forever changing the environment and we have to be strong and resilient not only as a club but as a code to make sure we can do our best to complete the entire season.”
Pourre said he was not sure if fans would be allowed in to watch the Roar’s only home match before their NSW departure but it was something he hoped for.
“We’ll help and assistant and work within the parameters of getting fans to the grounds, but that’s yet to be determined,” he said.