Professional Footballers Australia question government 'see-sawing'
Wellington Phoenix's 3-0 win over Melbourne Victory was played out amid consternation over how quarantine measures would affect the teams.
The Australian government's response to coronavirus has placed Melbourne Victory's players "in a compromising position", according to the country's players' union.
Victory were beaten 3-0 by Wellington Phoenix in the A-League on Sunday, although attention after the match was focused on the altered travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand.
In a statement, Professional Footballers Australia noted Victory's players and staff would have to undergo a compulsory 14-day self-quarantine period when they return home – a vastly altered situation to when they left Melbourne on Friday.
"While we acknowledge that the response to coronavirus is constantly evolving, the government’s reactionary behaviour and ad-hoc decision-making on travel and sporting events has placed the players in a challenging personal position," PFA chief executive John Didulica said.
"These players will now have to isolate while their livelihoods will be impacted; they will no longer be available to play and train with their team for the next fortnight.
"More clarity and proactive planning – and less see-sawing – from the government could have prevented a situation whereby we have players departing the country under one condition, and then re-entering on another in the space of 48 hours."
Wellington find themselves in a similarly compromised situation, with a period in quarantine set to follow if they travel as planned for games against Sydney FC and Newcastle Jets this week – matches that now appear impossible to stage as scheduled.
"It's a little bit up in the air at the moment. We will travel on Tuesday to Australia and then we'll have to isolate ourselves for the next couple of weeks," Wellington boss Ufuk Talay told reporters.
"I don't know [who we will be playing]. We will be flying into Sydney and going from there. There's a possibility that we might stay there and play the remaining games in Australia and might have to continue to play the finals series in Australia as well.
"We'll prepare and get ourselves ready like we're going to be there forever and prepare like we're going to come back the next day."
Phoenix attacking midfielder Ulises Davila, who opened the scoring during Sunday's win, has decided against returning to his native Mexico to be with his wife and newborn son.
"At this stage Uli has decided not to go home and see the season out," Talay explained. "We're in discussions. It's very tough.
"We had a plan in place but we can't control what is happening around the world at the moment and we'll just have to adapt to what's in front of us.
"He wants to stay, he wants to see the season off and finish the best way possible. It was his decision solely.
"He's just worried that if he goes and he comes back in a few weeks' time and he has to go into quarantine again. He's very comfortable with his wife being in Mexico with the baby because she's got family over there and he's got family over there as well."
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