Professional Footballers Australia (the PFA) has been in regular contact with Melbourne Victory’s players – prior to their departure and while in New Zealand – as the Australian Government’s response to coronavirus evolved.

Prior to the team’s departure on Friday, the PFA was satisfied with the situation and the players were comfortable that the match would proceed in line with Government and FFA recommendations. 

However, following the Government’s announcement on Sunday it would impose tighter travel restrictions, including a compulsory 14-day self-quarantine period for all people arriving in Australia from overseas from Sunday evening, the Victory players have been left in a compromising position.

“While we acknowledge that the response to coronavirus is constantly evolving, the Government’s reactionary behaviour and ad-hoc decision-making on travel and sporting events has placed the players in a challenging personal position,” PFA Chief Executive John Didulica said.

“These players will now have to isolate while their livelihoods will be impacted; they will no longer be available to play and train with their team for the next fortnight.

“More clarity and proactive planning – and less see-sawing – from the Government could have prevented a situation whereby we have players departing the country under one condition, and then re-entering on another in the space of 48 hours.”