Football Round ball round up: A-League season’s fate to be known on Monday

Round ball round up: A-League season’s fate to be known on Monday

Just in time: Melbourne City players celebrate their 2020 W-League title. Photo: AAP
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Football Federation Australia says it “continues to assess” the ability of the A-League to complete its season and expects to know more on Monday after the federal government’s National Cabinet meeting.

“We were very comfortable to take the initial decision to allow the leagues to continue with additional measures in place and have worked through a number of scenarios to facilitate the completion of the A-League season,” FFA CEO James Johnson said on Sunday.

We remain under no illusions as to how fluid this situation is, so we will remain agile and responsive to the challenges this pandemic brings.

“We are continuously assessing our position based on the latest directives and advice … We are taking every precaution in line with government advice and working closely with the league and clubs, which have implemented additional measures to ensure players remain healthy and in good physical and mental condition.

“Our priority is to ensure that this remains the case to give the clubs and players the best chance of achieving their sporting aspirations.”

There are numerous financial, contractual, administrative and emotive reasons, among others, to attempt to continue to play out the competition’s games, but events are now outpacing the sporting world.

But what message does pushing on send to a wider community being pleaded with to stay at home?

There are clear lessons in Europe’s experience, with Brisbane Roar fans on the weekend congregating outside gates to try and catch a glimpse of their team.

In Europe on March 12, despite the game being played behind closed doors, more than 3000 Paris Saint-Germain supporters did the same at the Parc des Princes as their side knocked Borussia Dortmund out of the Champions League.

Following the game, PSG players climbed a stand overlooking the streets below to celebrate with the fans below.

Today, the Champions League and Ligue 1 are suspended, and France is in lockdown as coronavirus cases and the death toll continues to spiral.

Setting an example is important.

Melbourne City worthy W-League Premiers

It’s an unfortunate reality that Melbourne City’s W-League Grand Final win on Saturday will be overshadowed by the coronavirus crisis.

Buoyed by player-of-the-game Steph Catley’s goal, City secured its fourth championship in five seasons with the win and set a competition record for the most titles in history.

Undefeated across the length of the season, coach Rado Vidošić’s side only conceded five goals across the length of their campaign and was clearly a class above on its way to the title.

City’s 2019-20 side should rightly be remembered as one of the best teams in Australian women’s footballing history, which won its title under trying circumstances.

A-League results
Friday: Melbourne City 4-2 Central Coast Mariners; Brisbane Roar 1-0 Newcastle Jets
Saturday: Western Sydney Wanderers 1-1 Sydney FC
Monday: Newcastle Jets v Melbourne City; Perth Glory v Western United
W-League Grand Final
Saturday: Melbourne City 1-0 Sydney FC