The effects of Covid 19 has taken another regional sport temporarily out of action, with New Zealand Football postponing all community football until May 2.
In a statement released this morning New Zealand football said "out of concern for our community's health amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the start of the community football season has been postponed until May 2"
"This difficult decision has been reached by NZ Football in agreement with the seven Federations, to help prevent community spread of Covid-19."
New Zealand Football also recommended that all training should be suspended until April 18, or two weeks prior to the start of the season. Recommendations around safe practice will be continually updated, aligning with Ministry of Health guidelines.
The postponement will affect teams across the Waikato including Hamilton Wanderers, Claudelands Rovers and Melville United who have all been preparing to participate in the Lotto NRFL and Waikato leagues.
Hamilton Wanderers are also currently competing in the ISPS Handa Premiership, and are in with a chance of contesting the play-offs this year. There is no news on if that league will be postponed.
Melville United entering a new stage after the departure of coaches Michael Mayne and Sam Wilkinson last year and preparing for their second season in the NRFL since returning last year, while Claudelands Rovers women's team were also in the midst of preparing for their return to the Lotto NRFL Premier League, with pre-season games scheduled for this week.
AFF CEO Steven Upfold said "The Auckland & Northern Football Federations would continue to monitor the developing situation, alongside NZ Football. Contingency plans for Club Competitions were being developed for further discussion with clubs in due course".
Measures being taken include:
Community football, including junior, youth, senior, social and regional competitions – all play postponed until May 2
Community futsal including junior, youth, senior and social competitions - all play postponed until May 2
The 2020 Secondary Schools Futsal Championships in late March has been cancelled. Tertiary Futsal championships are postponed until a date to be confirmed, and all other competitions are being reviewed.
Workshops and courses- including coaching and refereeing courses postponed until after May 2.