Country football and netball is off until June at the earliest.

That’s the message from the AFL which is urging all independent senior and junior leagues to follow its directive.

The AFL has issued the following this afternoon :

‘A NOTE TO THE AFL FOOTBALL COMMUNITY’:

The health and well-being of fans, players, umpires, officials, partners, volunteers and communities has been our number one priority.

We are determined to be part of the whole of community response to slow this COVID-19 virus down – and in doing so, help the broader community and our health systems to cope.

Following a series of meetings over the last number of days involving the AFL and all State and Territory CEOs, recommendations have been made in relation to Community football.

Consistent with the decision yesterday in relation to State League football and the national and state talent programs, all AFL and AFL State association managed or operated leagues along with the NAB AFL Auskick Centres programs currently operating or set to begin, will be postponed until 31st May 2020.

The AFL is also strongly recommending that independently governed junior and senior leagues and associations postpone the commencement and/or operation of their leagues/associations until the same date.

This decision and recommendation covers AFL community matches, AFL community training sessions and face to face AFL, WAFC and SANFL education courses.

Given the current climate of uncertainty and complexity, we felt it was best for our AFL community to take decisive action now.

The recommendation was collectively agreed upon based on the naThe AFL and AFL State and Territory Associations are committed to supporting community football during this time.ture of shared public facilities across community football clubs and the health and safety of our volunteer network.

We are a game, but we are not the main game.

The main game is looking after the community and that is the clear priority for everyone at the moment. For football families like all families.

It is paramount that support and engagement in community

football continues during these times. It is vital players, coaches, administrators, supporters, sponsors, volunteers and kids retain close links to their local clubs, Auskick Centres and wider league network.

The AFL will continue to meet with state and territory associations in relation to community football and will continually review this decision based on the changing circumstances and advice from government and relevant health departments and medical experts. We will communicate any updates and provide advice in a timely manner.

Football has had many challenges and despite the size of this one, football will find a way through.

Soccer start also delayed

Football Victoria (FV) welcomes Football Federation Australia’s (FFA) announcement today that all football (soccer) competitions across Victoria have been postponed until 14 April.

This decision will be reviewed, and further advice provided at that time. Updates will continue to be provided regularly on the FV Website at www.footballvictoria.com.au/

FV President Kimon Taliadoros said the difficult decision was clearly in the best interests of the Victorian footballing community’s safety, health and wellbeing.

“FV has listened to, and wholeheartedly supports, our football family members and wants to allow them time and space to focus on their higher order priorities,” Mr Taliadoros said.

FV CEO Peter Filopoulos confirmed FV acknowledged the health advice and guidelines outlined by FFA, the Federal Government and Public Health Officers yesterday.

“It has become clear that in the current environment, communities are increasingly unable to focus on football activities which is completely understandable,” Mr Filopoulos said.

“Whilst we have some competitions already in season, several extra competitions were due to kick-off across Victoria this weekend. This includes our NPLW (Senior Women’s), NPL 2 and NPL 3 Senior Men and Men’s State Leagues.

“In addition to the postponement of matches, all football related activities (including training) must also be suspended until 14 April.

“The health and wellbeing of our volunteers, players, officials, families and staff must come first. We are now contacting all of our 355 clubs across the state to update them of this decision,” Mr Filopoulos said.

FV looks forward to resuming football activities at the appropriate time and is currently scenario planning around potential competition options.