Final siren: Southern league scraps 2020 season

It was the last competition standing but the Southern league has joined its fellow senior Melbourne metro leagues in cancelling its season. But it still hasn’t given up on the Under 19s and netball.


Paul Amy, Moorabbin Kingston Leader

July 3, 2020 9:00am

 

The last pin has been pulled onmetropolitan football for 2020.

As expected, the Southern league last night joined Eastern, Essendon District, Northern, Western Region and the VAFA in scrapping the season.

The board met last night and decided to abandon its effort to start the season on July 25.

A string of clubs had withdrawn and revised AFL Victoria protocols ruled out the possibility of crowds attending matches.

The men’s senior, reserve and thirds competitions, and the senior women’s section have been cancelled.

But Southern will try to get up Under 19s and netball.

In a statement this morning, SFNL CEO Lee Hartman said the league had worked closely with State and local government, AFL Victoria, the other metropolitan leagues and clubs to “explore a responsible way to proceed in 2020, against the challenging background of COVID-19’’.

“However, in light of the recent outbreaks and significantly increased number of positive COVID-19 cases recorded in Melbourne, it has become apparent that the health and safety risks have simply become too great to conduct any senior contact sporting competition in 2020,’’ he said.

“This decision has not been taken easily, but the overriding concern we have is for the health and wellbeing of our people and the importance of not compromising the quality of our football competitions.’’

He said the updated AFL Victoria return-to-play protocols relating to limited spectator numbers and change room capacity also contributed to the board’s decision.

“We thank all member clubs for their patience and understanding during this extremely difficult time with its constantly changing environment,’’ Hartman said.

“The board appreciates and has been galvanised by the le