THE start of the A-League and W-League seasons have been delayed to reduce the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak.
Both seasons had been due to kick off on Sunday at Bankwest Stadium with a double-header – Western Sydney Wanderers against newcomers Macarthur FC (A-League), and Wanderers against Sydney FC (W-League).
But with modified COVID-19 restrictions in place in Sydney over the Christmas period, the decision has been made – in consultation with the NSW Government – to move back the Bankwest Stadium double-header to next Wednesday.
The A-League season will now kick off on Monday at Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium, where Western United will host Adelaide United.
The women’s season will start on Tuesday when Brisbane Roar host Melbourne City in a W-League/A-League double-header at Dolphin Stadium.
Crowd capacity levels will be reduced to 50 per cent for all games in NSW until the end of the month.
“We have worked closely with the NSW Government to ensure that the A-League and W-League seasons will go ahead as planned with the best possible experience for fans and players within the current restrictions,” head of leagues Greg O’Rourke said.
“Moving the matches back three days with a reduced capacity supports the Government’s risk mitigation plan in relation to crowds, and to mobility around the city during this Christmas period and New Year’s Eve.”
The decision to delay the start of the season comes a day after the announcement that a host of A-League and W-League matches had been shifted or postponed in the first four weeks of the season due to border closures and quarantine regulations.