Football Australia has been forced into a radical restructure of the 2020-21 A-League and W-League fixtures due to the outbreak of COVID-19 on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Instead of games being postponed, all clubs outside New South Wales will only play each other over the opening month of the competition – which is set to begin on Sunday – while all NSW clubs will only play matches among themselves.
The new-look draw means the A-League and W-League seasons are set to kick off on the same day for the first time in history.
The Western Sydney Wanderers will square off with Sydney FC at Bankwest Stadium in the W-League, before the Wanderers do battle with expansion club Macarthur FC at the same venue in the A-League.
Football Australia head of leagues Greg O’Rourke said the governing body was much better placed to combat the pandemic on the back of the 2019-20 season.
“We gained a significant amount of knowledge from the staging of the 2019-20 season, which enabled us to move quickly and respond to these latest changes,” O’Rourke said.
“We’ve mapped out the next month in light of the latest restrictions, and our focus remains on delivering the best-possible football experience for every one of our 218 games between now and June 2021.
“We’re five days out from the start of an historic season, and we are all ready for the summer of football to begin.”