A-League will meet the travel demands of players, says O'Rourke


A-League boss Greg O'Rourke has promised to meet frustrated players' travel demands as Melbourne's three teams wait to learn if they'll be granted NSW border exemptions.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) has applied to the NSW government for the exemptions, with the outcome set to determine the immediate future of the A-League, which is scheduled to resume next week.

Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Western United need the exemptions to go into camp in NSW without having to spend 14 days in isolation.

The players union (PFA) slammed Football Federation Australia's handling of the situation after the three clubs were twice thwarted in attempts to fly out of Victoria this week amid the state's worsening coronavirus crisis.

The PFA also delivered O'Rourke a set of demands from players of those clubs that needed to be carried out before they agreed to travel.

Those included written proof of border exemptions, details on travel, accommodation and training along with personal restrictions while in the hub.

O'Rourke said on Thursday he had spoken to senior players personally and intended to meet their requests and planned for teams to be ready to mobilise within 24 hours, if they secured exemptions.

"We will have all those plans and those requests that they wish to have in place, explained to them before we take off again," O'Rourke told SEN radio.

"We'll make sure we have written exemptions."

O'Rourke defended the decision to wait until this week to attempt to relocate the teams to NSW, even as Melbourne teams from other sporting codes departed earlier.

"No Victorian team was due to be in NSW until July 22, and in fact, Melbourne City as an example was not due to be in NSW until August 1," O'Rourke said.

"So if we had made the decisions to bring them up earlier, we would've had them here for a month before they were due to play their second game.

"But we made that decision on the weekend to do that for Tuesday (with) no border restrictions in place.

"It failed because the situation changed and I take full responsibility for that."

The A-League season is scheduled to restart on July 16 when Western United are due to play Victory.

FFA has outlined a fixture of 27 games in 28 days to complete the regular season, before finals.

Source AAP