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W-League Grand Final goes on Amid COVID-19

The Westfield W-League final goes on amid Coronavirus pandemic

March 20, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
Football Federation Australia officials agreed to continue operations including the Westfield W-League Grand Final scheduled for Saturday, March 19. But they have taken drastic measures to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

The federation has received consultation from Australia's Federal Government and the National COVID-19 Working Committee. The committee is made up of representatives from FFA, the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League, State Body Members and Professional Footballers Australia, which was established last week to address the threat of Coronavirus in the country.

The group met on March 15 to discuss discuss and consider advice from the Government and the Chief Medical Officer. And the decisive decision was to go ahead with the final.

"After careful consideration and consistent with that advice, FFA advises that football may continue to be played across Australia at this time."

On Saturday, undefeated W-League regular season winners Melbourne City FC will face the defending champions of the Grand Final, Sydney FC, in the 12th edition of the final.

Arguably the two most exciting teams in the leagueffa have made it to the final stage. Last year's Grand Final winner against this year's regular-season winner. But it will not be as exciting as it is on paper given the guidelines that have been implemented by the National COVID-19 Working Committee to help slow down the spread of the disease.

The final will be played behind closed doors with only players, coaches, match officials, staff, volunteers and parents or guardians of participants present. Furthermore, onlookers are advised to get there soon before the game is about to begin and leave as soon as the final whistle is blown.

Also, those who go to the game are advised to practice social distancing. Players and officials will not shake hands nor walk out with player mascots before the initial whistle. Spectators and coaches will have to keep 1.5 meters (5 feet) between one another. And players, officials and essential staff will be the only ones allowed in the changing room.

These are the major points in the guidelines that will impact the vibe of the final. The rest can be found on the FFA official website.

What about the passion of the fans in the stadium? What about fans screaming, jumping and hugging after a goal? What about celebrations after the game?

Well, these are things the FFA considered when deciding on whether to put a stop to both the men's and women's league. but given the late stages of the competition and the uncertainty of when sports will go back to normal, the FFA decided that it was best to finish now.

The passionate fans who follow the league will be left in the dark while football fans around the planet who have been deprived of watching their favorite leagues and teams a chance to fulfill their craving for watching a live game. The match will be available on YouTube for most of the world to see.

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