Northern NSW Football has announced its senior competition fixtures and training sessions will play behind closed doors.
Players have been advised to refrain from post-goal celebrations which include close contact and to refrain from shaking hands or embracing before and after matches.
At the junior level it has asked for only one parent to accompany a player at training or games and for parents not to congregate "in close proximity either side of half-way when watching fixtures".
The policy announcement comes as the Northern NSW NPL kicks off this Friday night with the Weston Bears hosting Valentine and the Maitland Magpies travelling to Jack McLaughlan Oval to meet Edgeworth in the replay of last year's grand final.
The Women's Premier League and Northern League One competitions enter their third week, with coranavirus already impacting with the WPL game between Thorton and Broadmeadow postponed when a Magic player was tested for the virus, but subsequently cleared.
In a statement Northern NSW Football said given the ever-evolving information surrounding the COVID-19, Northern NSW Football was continuing to work with and heeding the advice of Football Federation Australia (FFA) and Federal Health Authorities to continue to navigate decisions surrounding the 2020 Season.
At this point in time, football will 'play on' with some guidelines in place by Football Federation Australia to assist in preparing for the current season, the statment said.
A summary of precautions include:
- Senior training sessions and fixtures should only be attended by players, team officials, match officials and volunteers who are essential to the conduct of the activity;
- Junior training sessions and fixtures should only be attended by players accompanied by one parent, team officials, match officials and volunteers who are essential to the conduct of the activity;
- Parents attending junior football should exercise social distancing and spread out around the pitch i.e. not congregate in close proximity either side of half-way when watching fixtures;
- Players should refrain from any interaction including post goal celebrations which include close contact. A fist pump is adequate in the current circumstances
- Players, team officials and match officials should refrain from shaking hands and/or embracing before and after matches
- Team huddles should be avoided, and
- Team meetings in enclosed change rooms should be kept to a minimum.