Australian A-league season suspended due to coronavirus

Todd Greenberg

Todd Greenberg

The final rounds of the 2019-20 season have been postponed, effective immediately, with a further status assessment to be made on April 22.

Super League chairman Robert Elstone and RFL Chief Executive Ralph Rimmer have said they will take a "flexible" approach to resuming the rugby league season while also conceding the current suspension will be extended beyond the initial three week period.

Australian soccer's A-League yesterday suspended its season indefinitely, bringing an end to all professional soccer competitions in Australia and New Zealand until the COVID-19 pandemic passes.

"To get so close to completing the competition, only to pull up a few weeks short, has been heartbreaking for the players, clubs and fans", said FFA CEO James Johnson.

"As a national competition played in all parts of Australia, as well as New Zealand, mission complicated became mission impossible", Johnson said.

Johnson, said the FFA and all levels of football would feel financial pressure and there will nearly certainly be changes in structure with "everything on the table" after the crisis ends. "We will feel the financial pressure on the game at all levels", he said.

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"The game has always come through because we are resilient and that gives me great confidence that not only will this game survive, but we will come through on the other side even in a stronger position", Johnson said. Be different? I say yes'.

The 12 Super League clubs and representatives from the sport's governing body met via conference call on Tuesday to discuss the next steps in the wake of the government's decision to place the country on lockdown on Monday evening amid the escalating coronavirus outbreak.

The ARL Commission held a meeting at Rugby League Central on Monday and right up until midway through Monday afternoon NRL officials were determined to keep the competition going given the financial fallout of postponing games, however the rapidly shifting nature of the pandemic has forced the NRL's hand.

Super Rugby was also suspended after New Zealand introduced new travel restrictions.

The league still plans to complete the remaining 16 rounds at some point this year, after cutting it from the usual 23, but not before June. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times. "We are understanding of not just the players" health and well being but also their desire to be with their families, especially given so many of them have family overseas, ' NBL Owner and Executive Chairman Larry Kestelman said.

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