Football officials say it will be up to the A-League clubs to take action against their players if they do not comply with Victorian vaccination mandates in the wake of more high-profile players taking anti-vaccine stances on social media.
- Despite some players expressing anti-vaccination sentiment, Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City expect all their players to comply with Victoria’s vaccination mandate
- All Melbourne WNBL and NBL teams will also be vaccinated in time for the start of their seasons in December
- Victoria’s Sheffield Shield squad is on track to fulfill its mandate despite no matches scheduled at home
Last week, the Victorian government announced that all licensed workers, including professional athletes, should have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by October 15 and another dose by November 26 to continue working on site. .
The A-League men’s season kicks off on November 19, and the mandate applies to the three Melbourne clubs as well as Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, who play in Melbourne in the first five rounds.
A high-profile Melbourne Victory player is among those who have commented on vaccinations online, but the club has said all its players have talked the matter through with the club’s doctors and every player from its men’s and women’s team will abide by the mandate.
Melbourne City’s male players will all meet the mark, while the vast majority of its women’s teams still play abroad or have yet to return to Melbourne.
Western United could not provide the relevant information prior to publication.
The A-League men’s season will operate under a short-term conference system in the first six rounds, with the five New South Wales teams and Wellington playing against each other in New South Wales.
Problems can arise when these teams have to travel to Melbourne, but in a statement the Footballers’ Association said they are working on the problem with players.
“Following a comprehensive training program provided with APL, the club’s vaccination rates have so far been incredibly high and we continue to ensure that players have access to medical care and expertise as needed,” the statement said.
The summer of basketball will kick off in December, and Basketball Australia CEO Paul Maley said the WNBL was ready.
“While there is no league mandate, the WNBL is a strong advocate for vaccinations and actively encourages all of our players, coaches, staff and volunteers in the league to get their vaccinations,” Maley said.
“The WNBL will adhere to state, local, and local guidelines that will make it difficult for anyone who opts against vaccination to participate in the upcoming season.”
The two Melbourne teams, the Southside Flyers and the Melbourne Boomers, get all staff and players vaccinated on time, as does the NBL side South-East Melbourne Phoenix.
Phoenix and Melbourne United must fulfill the mandate to train, but are waiting a long time for them to play in Melbourne, with their home ground, John Cain Arena, to be out of action due to the Australian Open.
The NBL already shot a player over vaccinations, with New Zealand Breakers star Tai Webster released from his contact due to his refusal to be vaccinated.
Border closures have caused huge problems for Victoria’s men’s cricket team, but the vaccination mandate will not increase the problems.
Victoria will only be able to play New South Wales in a series of Sheffield Shield games before Christmas, with applications for quarantine and then play in other states beaten back by state governments.
The men’s team is on track to fulfill the mandate anyway.
Victoria’s women’s players will be out of state for several months, taking part in the Big Bash League through October and November, where games are played in Tasmania, Perth, Adelaide and Mackay.