Masks mandatory at NSW A-L games

Anna Harrington
·3-min read

Masks will be mandatory for fans at A-League games in NSW, while crowd capacity is set to be reduced to 25 per cent in line with the Sydney Test cricket match.

Spectators at the SCG Test, which began on Thursday, were required to wear masks.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard confirmed similar requirements would be imposed on other major sporting events - including the two A-League games scheduled in the state this week.

The Newcastle Jets host Western Sydney Wanderers at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday night while Macarthur FC will play Wellington Phoenix at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday.

The Newcastle game is part of a double-header, with the Jets' W-League team to face Sydney FC in the curtain-raiser.

"Discussions have also taken place between NSW Public Health and the A-League and as a result, there will be some requirements being imposed in the next day or so which will mandate the use of masks also for those spectators who attend A-League and other sporting events of a similar ilk," Hazzard said on Thursday.

"... You will have to take a mask with you and you will be required to wear it during the entire event - except of course when you're eating or drinking."

The A-League game in Newcastle previously had a 50 per cent maximum capacity but NSW Acting Premier John Barilaro flagged a reduction to half of that.

"We are working with the A-League in relation to games, especially the upcoming game in Newcastle," Barilaro said.

"What we have learned from what's occurred at the MCG, what we have learned in the preparation for today's Test at the SCG, those sort of requirements, including the 25 per cent cap, will apply to those games, and we'll work with the A-League."

Patrons from Western Sydney hotspots - Auburn, Birrong, Belmore, Berala, Lidcombe, Potts Hill, Regents Park, Rookwood and Wentworthville - and the Northern Zone of the Northern Beaches have been barred from both the Newcastle and Macarthur games, in line with the cricket.

There were set to be spot checks at the SCG Test, with $1000 fines for any patrons from blacklisted suburbs who attended.

It is unclear whether that will also occur at the A-League.

Meanwhile the A-League and W-League have announced several fixture changes.

Perth's A-League opener against Adelaide has been moved from January 16 to January 20, while the Glory's home game against Brisbane has been postponed.

Glory chief executive Tony Pignata said on Twitter the changes were because Adelaide and Brisbane needed to complete a 14-day period between facing Victorian teams and travelling to Western Australia.

Melbourne City's clash with Western United was brought forward from January 17 to January 16, while Newcastle's game against Brisbane was moved from February 6 to January 20.

In the W-League, Perth will now face Adelaide twice in five days (January 9 and 14) before hosting Brisbane on January 24.

City will now play consecutive derbies against Victory on January 10 and 17, with their away clash against Adelaide moved to January 21.