July 9 – Football Federation Australia’s Head of Leagues Greg O’Rourke has admitted responsibility for failed attempts to get A-League teams out of Victoria state amid a COVID-19 outbreak that has placed the July 16 restart of top-flight football in the country into doubt.
Three teams – Melbourne Victory, Melbourne City and Western United – have been unable to fly to neighbouring New South Wales via Canberra due to government quarantine requirements in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the country’s smallest state which would have forced them to spend two weeks in quarantine unable to even leave their hotels to train.
“This is just like the normal sporting world – it doesn’t matter how good your plan is, you get beat six-nil then the general public wants to know why it happened and why you didn’t do better,” O’Rourke told local radio station SEN on Thursday.
“We understand that and that’s my responsibility, and I’m not going to shirk that at all. What I need to do, like any other coach and any other leader, is come out and make sure we win the next game.”
O’Rourke conceded the FFA was caught off guard when NSW closed its border with Victoria this week.
“All the conversations we were having were that the NSW-Victorian border was not going to close, and they were over last weekend … And we know what happened,” he said.
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