Melbourne City have confirmed that players from within their A-League Women’s side have tested positive for COVID-19 on December 29 and 30th, 2021. In a statement by the club, an unspecified number of players were all double-vaccinated, in isolation and in good health.
According to recent comments by Australian Professional Leagues CEO Danny Townsend, when outbreaks were identified and controlled, clubs could only ask for a postponement in incidences where “five or more players from the previous match team sheet that are out with COVID.”
As a result City’s upcoming fixture against Newcastle Jets has been postponed. The match was originally scheduled for Sunday, January 2, 2022. It was also probably the last chance for fans to watch Emily van Egmond this campaign as the midfielder is only on a short-term contract with her home side.
This game is not the first A-League Women’s game postponed this season, but it is the first due to a squad outbreak of COVID-19. The two previous postponements of Perth Glory’s Round Three and Four games against Canberra and Adelaide United respectively were due to Western Australian border restrictions.
Prior to this confirmation of positive results within City’s side, there had only been a single incidence of COVID-19 reported within the A-League Women this season, with a Newcastle Jets player having tested positive due to her non-football place of employment. Her isolation and negative tests from within Jets’ remaining squad and staff meant that no games were postponed.
In contrast, all A-League Men’s teams except Melbourne Victory have had positive tested individuals within their sides with ten games postponed this season.
The contrast is quite surprising when one considers that most A-League Women’s sides have numerous players who also have non-football employment and would arguably be more vulnerable to COVID-19 infections, unlike their male counterparts who are full-time at their clubs.
In the interim, there are three other Round Five games and one rescheduled Round Three and Four games scheduled for the next seven days.
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