Football Victoria (FV) has announced a series of changes to its competition structures that will apply for the rest of the year. The changes have been made in response to the Victorian Government decision to reintroduce Stage 3 lockdown restrictions to counter the rise in COVID-19 cases.

The  FV said on its website that while the organisation and its staff as well as the clubs,  their volunteers had and others stakeholders had hoped to have as many people as possible playing football it would be impossible to run complete competitions for every age group and level.

“Our aim is to give participants a football experience this season, and we are committed to shaping a revised competition – potentially in a cup-style, round-robin or pool-stage competition.

“As such, FV has made a series of decisions to establish which competitions can proceed as fixtured, which can be altered and which we have been forced to cancel. These have been incredibly difficult decisions to make in a challenging and complex environment,” the statement read.

With the exception of Metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, regional Victorian regions that are not facing lockdown will be continue to play junior football (18 years and under).

“We intend to create a schedule that allows for competition to take place, noting that some of those competitions are fixtured by FV and some are managed by the local association” the FV said.

The organisation said it was still working a big number of issues that related to setting the fixtures for games and included planning for regional clubs that took part in metropolitan competitions or where there was a crossover with clubs that were marginally outside the boundary of regions facing lockdown measures.

Provisions were also being made for players in the lockdown zones who may want to play later in the year. FV said it would “operate modified competitions and other football options on an ‘opt-in’ basis, giving as much of our community as possible the opportunity to step onto the pitch.”

The FV anticipated that the competition structures that could be in place from September (with state government advice) included:

♦ The Geelong and Regional Areas competitions structure. All junior competitions will continue to be operated while senior competitions were subject to state government advice;

♦ NPL Competition Structure (go to Football Victoria news update link for more details);and

♦ Community Competitions Structure (check above website link for more details).

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With regard to fee structures the FV said it was award that clubs had incurred additional costs in having to twice prepare for the start of their seasons. It advised that a advised that new fee structure had been drawn that superseded a previous fee relief offer. Details of the fees were available at the above web address.

“FV has a responsibility to ensure the viability of our clubs and ultimately the game in Victoria. FV is working through this issue as an absolute priority in conjunction with our clubs and will respond on this once we have established a position that balances the best interests of the game and a reasonable apportionment of costs and accordingly fees,” the organisation said in its statement.