Coronavirus: COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions 

Will the WAFL & WAFLW season go ahead in 2020?

The WAFL and WAFLW competitions have been postponed until May 31st in an effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus throughout our community. The decision has been made together with the AFL and State football bodies around Australia as part of a national approach to protect the well-being of all players, coaches, umpires, officials, staff and volunteers.

Why has WAFL Club funding been reduced for the remainder of the season?

The WAFC risks losing half of its revenue this year which means we have been forced to make extremely difficult decisions about our people, competitions and the programs that we help to fund and support.

The WAFC will act in the best interests of our game, being prudent on spending only what we can afford whilst exploring all options to lead the industry through this difficult period.

We have a responsibility to all levels of football in Western Australia and must take this approach to financial management to ensure we can see out this difficult period, with the uncertainty of not knowing how long the current conditions will last.  

The planning and decisions we are making today will enable us to be ready to rebound when the green light is given for football to recommence. Once we get through the worst of this virus, footy will play a huge part in reconnecting communities right across Western Australia, led by our people.

To assist clubs, the WAFC will be providing a range of support packages and resources.

The WAFC will also contribute $1m from its Reserves to establish a WA Football COVID-19 Emergency Sustainability Fund and access to short term interest free loan facilities.

Are talent programs also being postponed?

Both female and male talent programs across Western Australia, including Colts, Futures and Jan Cooper Cup, will be postponed until the end of May. This is in conjunction with the postponement of WAFL and WAFLW. Players and parents will be notified of any changes over the coming weeks.

What about community football and Auskick?

All community football, both metropolitan & regional, across Western Australia has been postponed until May 31st in an effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus throughout our community. The decision has been made together with the AFL and State football bodies around Australia as part of a national approach to protect the well-being of all players, coaches, umpires, officials, staff and volunteers.

When does the postponement come into effect?

The decision to postpone all football in Western Australia is effective now. Training and face-to-face education sessions should have ceased from the decision being announced on Tuesday March 17.

I have paid my membership / registration fees will I get a reimbursement?

The WAFC is working with stakeholders to discuss the financial implications of the postponement of all levels of football across Western Australia. In consultation with key stakeholders, we will review our decisions around registration fees. The impacted parties will be contacted in due course.

Can training continue despite no games being played?

Effective immediately no players will be permitted clubs for training, meetings or club commitments until further notice. Conditions for players returning to clubs is being considered, with a consistent approach across the entire competition to be implemented.

Will this impact on AFL National Championships?

At this stage we are awaiting details from the AFL in relation to all male and female talent championships. Players and parents will be made aware of any changes that come to hand.

How will this effect AFL & AFLW National Drafts?

The WAFC remains in discussions with the AFL and other State bodies about the impact on AFL National Drafts and will provide an update as soon as possible.

What’s going to happen with fixtures after May 31st?

The WAFC will be working through this with the relevant clubs, competitions and affiliated bodies and will provide an update as soon as possible. We will commence looking at a range of options for what could occur post May 31st, however we will take the advice of the AFL, the Government and relevant health authorities.

What happens if the situation hasn’t improved by May 31st?

This is an ever-changing landscape and we will continue to rely on the advice of health authorities, the government and AFL with the health and safety of our players, umpires and staff at the forefront of our decision-making. The WAFC will be working through this with the AFL and other State bodies and will provide an update as soon as possible.

How will WAFL clubs survive with no revenue from matches?

To assist clubs, the WAFC will be providing a range of support packages and resources.

The WAFC will also contribute $1m from its Reserves to establish a WA Football COVID-19 Emergency Sustainability Fund and access to short term interest free loan facilities.

What is the current message to WAFL players and fans?

To players, continue preparations for the season to recommence after May 31 and stay in touch with your club and teammates to ensure everyone is receiving the support they need during this challenging period.

To fans, we are doing everything possible to ensure our historic WAFL competition can meet this unprecedented challenge and return as soon as possible. We appreciate your ongoing support and patience during this demanding time and look forward to seeing you back at the football soon.

How would an AFL mini-draft impact on the WAFL competition?

The WAFC will need to assess the impact of any mini-draft based on whether that goes ahead and the format that is decided. We will continue discussions as part of the national working group with the AFL and other State football bodies. 

How does the decision by the AFL to delay the AFL season impact on the WAFL or grassroots footy in WA?

All State League and community football across metropolitan and regional Western Australia has also been postponed until 31st May. The WAFC, as part of a national working group including the AFL and other State football bodies, will continue to review the decision based on changing circumstances and advice from the AFL, Government and relevant health authorities. Longer term, the financial impact of any AFL decision on Fremantle and West Coast will have to be assessed in relation to their funding contribution to the WAFC.

Will any financial impact on Fremantle and West Coast affect grassroots football funding?

The integrated football system in WA is heavily dependent on the success of our AFL clubs so it will be very important for the WAFC to work through this from a sustainability perspective. This will include calling on our industry to look at significant cost reductions and operational changes to ensure the game can overcome this unprecedented challenge so that football not only survives, but thrives.

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WA Football financial sustainability measures

26.3.2020

The West Australian Football Commission today announced a broad range of financial sustainability measures to support WA Football during the Coronavirus crisis.

WAFC CEO Gavin Taylor said the measures were based on football not returning until at least May 31st and the significant changes that are impacting upon the football economy.

“We know that football, like many other organisations and businesses in our community, needs to take unprecedented action to survive the economic impact of the Coronavirus,” Mr Taylor said.

“The WAFC risks losing half of its revenue this year which means we have been forced to make extremely difficult decisions about our people, competitions and the programs that we help to fund and support.”

“Today every person in our organisation has either been stood down or had their salary significantly reduced. It’s with a heavy heart that we have had to make such significant changes to our business which impact our greatest asset, our people. We are putting support and provisions in place to support our people through this period.”

“I am deeply saddened to see the impact this situation is having on our community, the game of football, and the livelihood of the people who make it great.”

“We will continue to support the safety and well-being of our staff, players, coaches, umpires, officials and volunteers the best that we possibly can so they can take care of themselves and their families, as we work our way through this situation.”

The sustainability measures that have been put in place by the WAFC include:

  • Closure of WAFC offices at Tuart College and all associated costs.
  • 72 full-time WAFC staff being stood down, with further reviews in line with the football close-down period until May 31st, 2020.
  • WAFC CEO and Executive taking reduction in salary.
  • Remaining WAFC staff to work limited hours with a resultant reduced salary.
  • Freeze on WAFC recruitment and discretionary spending.
  • A 50% reduction in funding to WAFL clubs from May 31st.
  • Establishing a WA Football COVID-19 Emergency Sustainability Fund to assist leagues and clubs across WA.
  • Implementing both WAFL and community club support packages to provide guidance to clubs on reviewing operations and making sustainable savings.
  • Assisting WAFL clubs with access to emergency loans if they are still facing financial challenges after undertaking operational and cost saving measures.
  • Forming a COVID-19 - Industry Steering Group to guide and support the WAFC and football through the crisis.

“Football is in this together at all levels and we must work through this unprecedented challenge in the best interests of the future sustainability of our game,” Mr Taylor said.

“The planning and decisions we are making today will enable us to be ready to rebound when the green light is given for football to recommence. Once we get through the worst of this virus, footy will play a huge part in reconnecting communities right across Western Australia, led by our people.”
 
To assist clubs, the WAFC will be providing a range of support packages and resources.

The WAFC will contribute $1m from its Reserves to establish a WA Football COVID-19 Emergency Sustainability Fund and access to short term interest free loan facilities.

Funding certainty for the remainder of 2020 has also been provided for WAFL clubs and the WAFC’s affiliates including the WA Country Football League, Perth Football League, Metro Football League, AFL Masters WA and the WA Women’s Football League, to assist them with their financial planning and sustainability measures.

“Each and every one of the 463 football clubs and 55 leagues across WA is important to the future success of our game in this State and we are doing everything possible to support them all during this unprecedented challenge,” Mr Taylor said.

“I urge everyone at every level of the game to stay engaged with your club, keep in touch with coaches and teammates, and check that everyone is OK so we can get through this tough time together, whilst continuing to play our part in supporting the Government’s directions to restrict the spread of Coronavirus.”

“For footy fans, there has never been a more important time to sign up as a member of your WAFL or AFL club or offer your support in some way. I would especially like to thank all of the sponsors that have continued investing in local football clubs, including our key partners in Optus and KIA, who have been unwavering in their support of WA Football.”

“For every parent, there has never been a better time to get the kids having a kick or a handball in the backyard, so they are all set to go when our great game returns.”

“To the State Government, who this week confirmed their ongoing funding commitment, we also say thanks. The financial contribution goes to every level of WA Football, and without this we would not be in a position to survive this unprecedented crisis.”

"I am confident that these measures and our strong partnerships in football will get us through this."

WAFL Council of Presidents chairman Ric Gloede said the WAFL clubs would work together with the WAFC to put sustainability measures in place and access any support or resources available to the clubs.

“We understand that the economic impact from COVID-19 is going to flow through to all levels of our game and everyone has a role to play in overcoming these challenges together,” he said.

“We will do everything we possibly can to preserve our historic WAFL competition and its clubs and thank everyone who has shown their support or commitment to help us do that.”

“We are of the view that this interruption to the game gives everyone the opportunity to review the very structure of footy in WA when this unprecedented event is over.”

“There is no question this is going to be the biggest challenge that the WAFL and the WAFC have ever faced but I’m confident that with the support of our fans, members , sponsors and the broader WA community we can come out of this on top.”

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Community football postponed in Western Australia

17.3.2020

In a united decision with the AFL and other State football bodies, the West Australian Football Commission has agreed to postpone all senior and junior community football in both metropolitan and regional Western Australia.

Consistent with the decision yesterday in relation to State League football and talent programs, all community football competitions will be postponed until 31st May 2020.

This includes Auskick, AFL 9s and community AFLX competitions, and also extends to football training sessions and face-to-face education courses. 

The recommendation was collectively agreed upon based on the nature of shared public facilities across community football clubs and the health and safety of football’s volunteer network.

WAFC CEO Gavin Taylor said the health and well-being of players, coaches, umpires, officials, volunteers and the local community was at the forefront of the decision.

“The WAFC is determined to be part of the whole of community response to slow down the spread of Corornavirus and help the broader community and our health systems to cope,” he said.

“We strongly agree with the AFL and other State football bodies that given the current climate of uncertainty and complexity it is best to take decisive action now.”

“We will be working through this postponement with all senior and junior competitions and affiliates throughout WA over the coming days and remain committed to offering our full support to community football during this time.”

“Football is part of the fabric of our community and we will do everything possible to ensure we can overcome this unprecedented challenge together so that football not only survives, but thrives.”  

The WAFC will continue to meet with the AFL and other State football bodies in relation to community football and will continually review this decision based on the changing circumstances and advice from government and relevant health authorities and medical experts.

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WAFL, WAFLW and Talent Programs postponed   

16.3.2020

The West Australian Football League, WAFLW, and WA Talent programs have been postponed until May 31st in an effort to reduce the spread of Coronavirus throughout our community. 
 
The decision has been made together with the AFL and State football bodies around Australia as part of a national approach to protect the well-being of all players, coaches, umpires, officials, staff and volunteers.
 
West Australian Football Commission CEO Gavin Taylor said the WAFC was now focussed on guiding and supporting WAFL clubs through this unprecedented and extremely challenging period.
 
“We will be working through the impact on WAFL Clubs, members, players, staff, supporters and sponsors over the coming days,” he said.
 
“As an industry we will come together and work through this difficult period.”
 
“This will include reviewing operations, expenditure and sustainability strategies, so that we are well placed to get through this challenge and focus on our recovery and return to competition following the postponement,” he said.
 
“Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our football participants and the wider community that we are all a part of, and this will remain at the forefront of all decisions that are made throughout this process.”
 
The WAFC remains in discussions with the AFL and other State bodies with regards to the postponement of senior and junior community football competitions and will provide an update as soon as possible.

Whilst the WAFC will continue to provide updates at www.wafootball.com.au/covid19  the football community is also urged to remain informed via the following key sources of information:

Australian Government Department of Health 

WA Government Department of Health 
 
Smartraveller

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Coronavirus: COVID-19

13.3.2020

The West Australian Football Commission’s number one priority is the health and safety of all West Australian football participants, players, umpires, officials and volunteers who underpin our great game.
 
The WAFC, as part of a national working group including the AFL and other State football bodies, is closely monitoring the situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and taking advice from the Australian Government, World Health Organisation and AFL’s Chief Medical Officers regarding best practice.
 
It is crucial that all practical measures are taken to limit the spread of COVID-19 and mitigate any potential impact on State League and community football competitions. This includes ensuring that the number of people at venues does not exceed 500 to help prevent the spread of the virus.
 
Based on this advice received by the national working group today, WAFL Futures fixtures and Colts and League practice matches will be postponed tomorrow Saturday, March 14th at New Choice Homes Park (East Fremantle), Steel Blue Oval (Bassendean) and Fremantle Community Bank Oval (South Fremantle).
 
Based on the current advice from the Government in relation to group gatherings, community football matches with limited crowds (500 or less) can proceed until further notice. It is recommended that match attendance is limited to players, families, and key match officials.
 
The WAFC has set up a risk management working group that will continue to monitor the situation and take a proactive approach. The welfare of staff, volunteers, players, coaches, umpires, and spectators remains at the forefront of all decisions.  
 
The following precautions are recommended to limit exposure to COVID-19 and prevent the spread of germs:
 
Personal hygiene

- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol?based hand sanitiser
- Wash or sanitise your hands before eating
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home and seek medical treatment when you are sick
- Cover your mouth to cough or sneeze 

Football hygiene
- Communal use of water bottles should be avoided at all times. All players should be in possession of their own drink bottle, and should not share with any other players
- Do not share drinks, towels, lip balm, sunscreen with others
- Place hand sanitisers around the change room and encourage use of them.
- Ensure all player facilities are maintained and cleaned to a high standard with appropriate cleaning agents – consider more regular cleaning of facilities.
- Limit physical contact such as avoiding shaking hands, pre or post game
- Work with other community clubs that share Club facilities, if appropriate, to implement practices consistent with this communication
- Limit travelling party to matches/training/sessions where possible.
 
Meetings between the AFL and health authorities are taking place regularly to monitor any changes in the situation and to consider implementing any further measures. We are also monitoring the situation as it relates to School closures and the impact of any closures may have on our Community Leagues, Clubs and Auskick centres.
 
As such, the WAFC and the national AFL working group will continue discussions over the course of the weekend to develop recommended guidelines around a range of scenarios relating to State League, community competitions, Auskick and school programs. Further detail around these guidelines will be provided as soon as possible.
 
Whilst the WAFC will continue to provide updates at www.wafootball.com.au/covid19 the football community is also urged to remain informed via the following key sources of information:


Australian Government Department of Health 

WA Government Department of Health 
 
Smartraveller