Southern league pushing on with July 25 kick-off, AFL Vic says crowds are permitted

The Southern footy league is sticking with its intended starting date as AFL Victoria says spectators can attend games as long as they comply with social distancing rules.

Bayside Leader | June 25, 2020 10:30am


Play on.

The Southern Football Netball League says its position remains unchanged and it’s aiming to start its season on Saturday, July 25.

The SFNL board met on Tuesday night and resolved to push on, despite the extension of Victoria’s state of emergency until July 19. League officials are linking up with clubs from all four divisions this week.

Southern’s stance comes as AFL Victoria said this morning that crowds could attend matches but spectators must “be strictly compliant with government directions and restrictions’’.

They “should be in groups of no more than 10 people in open, outdoor venues and spread out around the ground or venue’’ and be 1.5m apart.

“Gathering limits will not apply to participants and those reasonably necessary to conduct the training or competition (e.g. umpires, coaches),’’ AFL Victoria said.

“Where venues allow for vehicle access surrounding the oval, spectators are encouraged to remain in their vehicle (subject to Government advice regarding risk for spectators viewing from vehicles, e.g. cohabiting family/household members only).’’

Clubs will be responsible for spectators observing social distancing. AFL Victoria gave no information about a cap on crowd numbers.

The Southern league clubs will be asked to decide by Friday, July 3 if they want to take part in the season.

“With all the facts we have at hand, nothing’s really changed from the intention to start om July 25,’’ SFNL CEO Lee Hartman told Leader.

“We’re still pushing for that date.

“The information is being explained to the clubs over the next two nights and then they’ll have the option to enter teams or not.’’