Victorian A-League clubs left in limbo after border fiasco


The remainder of the A-League season is at the whim of the NSW government as attempts to relocate Victoria's three teams drags into a third day.

Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Western United remain stranded in Victoria after plans to fly to Canberra fell through for the second consecutive night on Tuesday.

FFA had sought border closure exemptions from the NSW government for players and staff to travel interstate after the clubs did not leave Victoria before the midnight Monday deadline for Melbourne residents.

On Monday, poor visibility at Canberra Airport prevented a late-night flight to the ACT, with players and staff left on the Tullamarine tarmac.

A day later, the three clubs aborted plans to travel to Canberra again.

In farcical scenes, the teams were on buses waiting to enter the Melbourne Airport hangar on Tuesday night when they were informed they would have to complete a 14-day hard quarantine in the ACT, during which they would be unable to train, if they landed in Canberra.

Victory, City and United will instead stay in Melbourne while they await the NSW government's call on exemptions.

"We are in discussions with the NSW Government, and we will continue to seek the exemptions necessary for the teams to travel," A-League boss Greg O'Rourke said in a statement late on Tuesday night.

"Given the strict league and club protocols our teams have been following since 2 June 2020, combined with the fact we have not had any players or high performance staff return a positive COVID-19 testing result, we feel that we have a very good case to gain the exemptions and get the teams to NSW to complete the Hyundai A-League season, and we will make every attempt to do so."

On Tuesday, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro indicated the state government would work with the FFA regarding exemptions - though they have not been confirmed.

United are currently scheduled to play Victory on July 16, then City four days later.

The A-League's precarious situation is not one shared by the AFL, NRL and Super Rugby, who all made earlier moves to get their respective teams out of Victoria amid the state's coronavirus spike.

Source AAP