AFL Victoria and AFL Outer East welcome the latest announcement from the Victorian Government regarding changes to its COVID-19 Public Events Framework which affects crowd restrictions for community football.
In a positive development, community football clubs and leagues will not be required to go through the same public health approval process that they were previously required to go through, in order to have crowds of up to 5,000 spectators.
For community football matches expecting crowds of under 5,000, the event will be designated a ‘Low Risk Tier 2 Event’, meaning organisers still have to ensure the government’s COVID-safe requirements are adhered to, without seeking formal approval.
Head of AFL Victoria, Brad Scott, said: “This is a really positive development for community football across the state, especially clubs and leagues expecting large crowd numbers.
“We are continuing to work closely with the Victorian Government on a daily basis and advocate for community football, and the situation has been evolving quickly since we were in a lockdown only a few weeks ago. We thank the State Government for understanding AFL Victoria’s position on the challenges faced by community football clubs and volunteers, working with us and considering community football as guidelines evolve.
“With this latest development, community footy will be as close as possible to ‘back to normal’ when the season starts, which is really exciting.
“It will be great to see big crowds at community football matches while kids will be high-fiving and can have parents, grandparents and family watching their junior footy games. These are all parts of community football that Victorians love, and it’s fantastic to have the season nearly here after the year we had.”
AFL Outer East Regional General Manager Aaron Bailey said it was a significant announcement for the league and its clubs.
“This is a welcome announcement for our clubs and volunteers and will allow players, supporters and volunteers to return to football with much greater confidence,” he said.
“We encourage everyone to get out to support local footy and netball in 2021.”
More information on the Victorian Government’s Public Events Framework is available here.
AFL Victoria is updating its protocols accordingly and will share with relevant stakeholders.