More ALM, ALW matches fall victim to COVID

·3-min read

Western United's trip to face Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday has been cancelled as COVID-19 wreaks havoc across the A-League Men's competition.

All but one of the games over the New Year's Day weekend - Wellington Phoenix's visit to Adelaide United - have been postponed, with the Western Sydney-Western United match called off on Thursday.

Western's Alessandro Diamanti and Wanderers striker Tomer Hemed both used social media to confirm they had tested positive to COVID-19 in recent days.

In addition to a number of cases in the A-League Men's competition, Melbourne City's scheduled A-League Women's game against the Newcastle Jets on January 2 has also been postponed due to fresh positives at City.

City's players had to receive a halftime team talk in their Boxing Day win over Melbourne Victory at pitchside after players returned two positive results following PCR tests on the day of the game.

Case numbers at Western Sydney have not forced a cancellation for the club's A-League Women's side, however, their clash with Canberra United has been shifted from Bankwest Stadium to Wanderers Football Park.

Under A-League rules fixtures can be postponed if at least five players are unavailable due to COVID-19 diagnoses.

"The A-Leagues' protocols continue to be effective for screening and subsequent PCR testing in detecting the virus and ensuring immediate isolation," the A-Leagues said in a statement.

"We will continue to work with all clubs involved to confirm new schedules for the postponed matches as soon as possible."

The sole surviving A-League Men's game from the New Year's Day weekend has not been without impact, however, with Wellington announcing on Thursday they had recorded three positive cases among their squad.

One is a staff member, while the other two are players who share accommodation together. All three are isolating.

"As it stands right now the game is on and we're preparing for that as normal," said Phoenix operations manager Shaun Gill.

"We had a training session today for matchday minus two and based on the flight scheduled we're due to fly out tomorrow (Friday)."

Central Coast Mariners-Macarthur FC, Newcastle Jets-Melbourne City, Sydney FC-Perth Glory and Melbourne Victory-Brisbane Roar had all been postponed earlier this week.

A backlog of games now awaits the A-League Men's fixture planners with international breaks and FFA Cup matches needed to be considered in any updated draw.

Meanwhile, the Big Bash League match between the Melbourne Stars and the Perth Scorchers has been postponed after a COVID-19 case in the Stars camp.

A member of the Stars' staff is believed to have tested positive to the virus.

It is the first BBL match to be impacted by this summer's COVID-19 outbreaks.

A series of early AFLW games scheduled for Perth are almost certain to be moved after Western Australia decided to reclassify South Australia and Queensland as 'extreme risk' states.

Fremantle are due to host Adelaide on January 8 in round one, with West Coast to play host to Brisbane a day later.

West Coast's round two home game against Gold Coast and round three match against Adelaide are also expected to be shifted, given travellers from Queensland or South Australia will only be able to enter WA under exceptional circumstances.

It means the Eagles and Dockers are now likely to spend the early part of the season on the road, before receiving a series of home games once WA's border opens on February 5.

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