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Melbourne City hopeful of hosting semi-final with fans

Source: Getty Images

Melbourne City are still hopeful of hosting their home A-League semi-final with fans in attendance at AAMI Park, despite the AFL moving games out of Melbourne amid the city's coronavirus outbreak.

 

The A-League premiers earned the right to host their semi-final and the grand final if they make it and are due to host Macarthur FC at AAMI Park on Sunday.

Melbourne's recent coronavirus outbreak saw City's final regular-season game against Newcastle postponed before it was held in Sydney.

Their derby clash with Melbourne Victory was played behind closed doors.

On Monday, the AFL relocated two games from Melbourne to Tasmania, citing a lack of crowds in Victoria, while Geelong are currently scheduled to play the Western Bulldogs behind closed doors at GMHBA Stadium on Friday night.

A-League premiers City remain hopeful of avoiding a similar fate and are planning to play Sunday's game in Melbourne with fans, until told otherwise.

"We're continuing to work closely with Melbourne and Olympic Parks and the Department of Health's public events team," City said on Tuesday.

"We are awaiting further advice and remain hopeful that we will have crowds at this weekend's semi-final at AAMI Park."

The semi-final was originally scheduled for Friday but pushed back to Sunday in a bid to have fans at the game.

If they are unable to have fans at AAMI Park, City will either play the game at home behind closed doors or relocate interstate - likely to Sydney.

Last season, City had to play their home semi-final in a NSW hub.

Key players Andrew Nabbout, Tom Glover and Rostyn Griffiths have all said they would prefer to play finals away from home in front of hostile fans than at an empty AAMI Park.

Losing access to home finals would be another blow to City's hopes of winning a maiden A-League championship, after the premiers lost Socceroos Jamie Maclaren, Connor Metcalfe and Curtis Good for the finals.

Source AAP