Extension of state of emergency clouds return-to-play plans for local football

The Southern league says it’s prepared to wait until the ‘11th hour’ to make a decision about starting the season. But it will scrap it if crowds of at least 100 aren’t allowed.

Bayside Leader | June 22, 2020 10:30am

Southern league CEO Lee Hartman says the extension of Victoria’s state of emergency until July 19 is a setback for plans to start local football, “but we’re not throwing in the towel’’.

The news on the weekend has left officials scrambling to confirm if dates previously announced for the return of contact training and matches still apply.

They are speaking with AFL Victoria this afternoon.

The Southern, VAFA, Western Region and Essendon District leagues had all indicated they would make a call this week about whether to kick off their seasons.

The weekend’s announcement has smudged the return-to-play picture.

Southern had been aiming to bounce the ball on July 25.

“It’s obviously a setback for the whole state and for us but training can still go ahead with the same conditions (with groups of 20), so not much really changes as far as clubs’ preparation,’’ Hartman said this morning.

“They can