No go zone: SA Country Football Championships cancelled for 2020

Shut down: Action from the 2019 South Australian Country Football Championships between the Southern and Northern women's sides. Photo: File.

Shut down: Action from the 2019 South Australian Country Football Championships between the Southern and Northern women's sides. Photo: File.

THE South Australia National Football League has cancelled the 2020 SA Country Football Championships scheduled for July 10-12 in Kadina amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the nationwide measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

The SANFL, in a united decision with the AFL and all other state leagues across Australia, postponed the 2020 football season in response to the pandemic until May 31.

This arrangement includes the temporary halting of the Whyalla Football League and all country and amateur league across the state.

In a statement, the SANFL said the decision to cancel the Country Championship was "based on allowing community competitions to maximise the number of matches they can fixture if/when it is safe for football to resume in 2020, as well as providing much needed financial relief for the event hosts, organisers and competing zones".

The State Country Game against Western Australia has also been cancelled in 2020.

"The SA Country Football Championships and State Team Programs create valuable pathways from regional football to SANFL and AFL men's and women's competitions, as well as delivering significant economic impact for the host region," the statement continued.

"The SANFL recognises the importance of the SA Country Football Championships and associated programs, and as such is committed to ensuring it resumes in the future."

Netball SA has also made the decision to cancel its annual Priceline Pharmacy Country Championships event for 2020 in an effort to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the netball community.

The three-day event, which was set to take place in June, is a significant part of the netball calendar, with the 2019 event involving over 1,200 players and officials.

The SANFL recognises the importance of the SA Country Football Championships and associated programs.

SANFL spokesperson

Given the projected attendance for 2020 as well as new strict guidelines on gatherings in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Netball SA CEO Bronwyn Klei said planning ahead for the event to go on was nonviable.

"We're very disappointed to have to cancel as the Priceline Pharmacy Country Champs is the largest and one of the most important events in our annual calendar," Klei said.

"The 2020 event would have also seen PPCC celebrate its 80th year, but as with all decisions we've made in recent weeks, the health and wellbeing of the players and wider community comes first."

This story Country champs cancelled first appeared on Whyalla News.