Coronavirus: FFA chief Johnson defends timing of A-League suspension despite positive cases

By Sports Desk March 28, 2020

Football Federation Australia (FFA) chief executive James Johnson defended the timing of the A-League season suspension despite two positive coronavirus cases this week.

The A-League was the last competition standing in Australia, suspending its season on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic.

But it was confirmed on Saturday that a Newcastle Jets player and Wellington Phoenix staff member had tested positive for COVID-19.

Johnson said the A-League was stopped at the right time, despite the two cases that followed just days later.

"When you follow a decision-making process that is evidence-based and which is highly consultative, I always think you get really close to the right decision," he told Fox Sports on Sunday.

"This decision to close the A-League, or to suspend the A-League, was made with the unanimous support of all the A-League clubs and was made in close consultation with the players' union on behalf of the players. We did have a very unified decision and we had unity in the sport which we've not really seen for a long time.

"I think the timing to close the league, to suspend the league, was right, I think we arrived at the right time.

"Unfortunately, since we closed the league, there have been a couple of cases now of the virus, we've been informed by both Newcastle and Wellington of those cases, the league is taking all necessary steps in line with the government guidelines. They're currently trying to understand better the details around who the players were mixing with and how they could've contracted the virus. This is going on at the moment.

"What we're trying to do at FFA is we're trying to ensure that both the player and also the administrator that have contracted the virus have all the support that they need during these difficult times."

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