Media Release

SANFL Update: return to play

28 April, 2020

SANFL is awaiting further detail on the possible lifting of social restrictions and health advice from Federal and State Governments in mid-May before announcing any update on a return to play for both State League and Community Football.

The League had intended to provide a more detailed outline for a return to footy by the end of this month but will now wait to provide any update on resumption of activity until after May 11.

Until such time, the current season postponement date for matches and training of May 31 still stands.

SANFL Chief Executive Officer Jake Parkinson said that while all football participants and supporters wanted clarity around a return to play, the work happening in the background was constantly changing due to changing circumstances with COVID-19.

“The announcement by the Prime Minister late last week that the National Cabinet will develop a guiding set of principles for sport at all levels reinforces the extensive work both the AFL and SANFL have been doing to refine protocols and processes on how and when our seasons will commence,” Mr Parkinson said.

“The Federal and State Governments have also indicated the possibility of easing of some restrictions by around mid-May, should the current low trend of transmission continue.

“As a result of these developments and reviews, the timetable we are now working to has been revised.”

Mr Parkinson said he was pleased that both the Federal and State Governments had recognised the importance of local sport resuming to re-connect support networks that were currently stretched or not operating, including SANFL Clubs.

“We continue to focus on being aligned with the advice of the State Government and the relevant medical authorities and are ensuring everything we do protects the health and safety of our participants and wider community,” he said.

“At a State League level, we are also working closely with the SA Department of Health as well as the Office of Recreation, Sport and Racing with regards to protocols and guidelines to assist with a return to play in SA.

“In addition to the safety of participants and the broader community, the integrity of the competitions and financial impact of returning to football must also be carefully considered, so any revised competition is sustainable and doesn’t place any undue financial pressure on clubs and leagues.”