New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro has declared his intentions to help negotiate travel exemptions to allow the three Victorian A-League clubs to cross the now-closed state border to participate in the competition restart.
The border between NSW and Victoria was closed last night due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the latter, and Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Western United were forced to try to travel across before midnight - with bad weather causing their flight to be cancelled.
This means the clubs are now stranded in Victoria and will have to apply for travel exemptions to the NSW Government in order to enter a hub and continue to prepare for the A-League restart, scheduled to kick-off on the 16th July.
However on Tuesday, Barilaro was optimistic when discussing the current situation and expressed his desire to come to an agreement with Football Federation Australia.
"You've heard me talk about the importance of sport," Barilaro said.
"I think we've got to work with the FFA, so I'll be reaching out to them today and seeing what support they need."
"If we've got an opportunity to do so, let's bring them across the border... put them in the regions or here in the city and make sure they're part of the A-League that kicks off shortly."
Barilaro acknowledged there could be complications with the exemptions, but highlighted the success of previous negotiations with other sporting codes and teams during the pandemic, particularly the National Rugby League.
"I think there's a real opportunity to do it," Barilaro said.
"The exemptions exist and we'll work with health officials as we've done previously with all the other codes."
"No-one would've thought we could've brought the (New Zealand) Warriors over at the time but we did, and the Brisbane teams that came across."
"We've got a process in place to deal with it, so we'll work with the FFA."