- FFA aims to resume suspended season on 16 July
- Players to undergo Covid-19 testing on Monday
It sounds far-fetched but the A-League believe this year’s grand final could be played anywhere in Australia, or even in New Zealand.
The league’s 11 clubs are set to undergo Covid-19 testing for players and staff on Monday, with training to resume this week. Despite not yet resolving a contract dispute with host broadcaster Fox Sports, Football Federation Australia is pushing ahead with a plan to resume the league on 16 July.
The plan is to play the remaining games of the season across a 28-day period before embarking on a one-week finals campaign. And FFA head of leagues Greg O’Rourke says if border restrictions have been suitably eased by mid-August, finals could be played at various venues, including overseas.
“Our intent is to take the finals series where we can bring it to the most crowd and if that means all the border restrictions are released by mid-August then we would follow our normal principles of whoever earns the right to host could host,” O’Rourke told AAP.
“That includes New Zealand too. If Wellington earn the right to host, then they could host the grand final.” The Phoenix are currently third on the league ladder after 20 matches and assuming clubs are given the all-clear medically, training can resume from Tuesday.
The Phoenix will need to travel to NSW to complete their regular season fixtures, with a plan in place for them to complete a 14-day quarantine period at the Football NSW headquarters in Sydney. Perth Glory will also have to be based in NSW for the remainder of the regular season games under FFA’s two versions of the revised schedule.
The first schedule has all 11 clubs playing in a NSW hub with matches played in Sydney and Newcastle. The alternate schedule would allow Brisbane, Adelaide and the three Victorian clubs to play matches in their home states if border restrictions ease.