The FFA will seek the government to grant exemptions to the New South Wales border closure after players from three Victorian clubs were left stranded on the tarmac at Tullamarine Airport late on Monday night.
Players and staff from Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Western United all rushed at extremely short notice to meet at AAMI Park, just hours after it was announced that the border between Victoria and New South Wales would close at midnight on Tuesday.
However, as all three clubs have the majority of players based in Melbourne, they needed to get out of the state by midnight on Monday after the whole city was declared as a hotspot.
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The plan was for the teams to fly to Canberra before travelling on to Sydney but, despite everyone making it onto the plane, low visibility in the Australian capital meant the flight was not able to leave, forcing everyone to disembark the plane and head home.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the players were only given an hour and a half’s notice before meeting at AAMI Park at 10pm and did not return home until after midnight following the failed attempt to depart.
With the A-League set to restart on July 16, the FFA released a statement confirming it would be applying for exemptions to allow the player and high performance staff from the three clubs to enter NSW for the remainder of the 2019/20 season.
“As a result, we will now begin the process to seek exemptions from the NSW Government to allow the teams to enter NSW for them to continue their season,” said FFA head of leagues Greg O’Rourke.
“If we find it necessary to revise the match schedule we will do so accordingly and will announce once confirmed, however at this time the schedule remains the same.”