Football Federation Australia (FFA), the Hyundai A-League clubs and major broadcaster FOX SPORTS have agreed to incorporate FIFA international breaks into the league from next season.
The decisions means that the season will start on 19 October, slightly later than usual to avoid the international window earlier in the month. There will be two further international breaks, from 12-20 November and 18-26 March. The later start means the finals series will begin in May with the Hyundai A-League 2019 Grand Final to be held on the weekend 18/19 May, 2019.
FFA chief executive David Gallop and Head of the Hyundai A-League Greg O’Rourke thanked the clubs and FOX SPORTS for their positive collaboration with FFA on the changes.
“With our broadcasters and commercial partners we have been conscious always of the need to balance the benefits of week to week continuity in the league against the benefits of stopping for international breaks,” said Gallop.
“After extensive discussions with the clubs and with FOX SPORTS over recent weeks we have all agreed to incorporate the international breaks.”
O’Rourke said FFA Cup semi-finals and potential Caltex Socceroos/Westfield Matildas matches in early October would provide a prelude to the Hyundai A-League season. He said the league would continue during next January’s AFC Asian Cup in the UAE where the Caltex Socceroos will be the defending champions.
“The later finish to the season also means that more of the Hyundai A-League will overlap with the community football season, helping us to connect the league to our massive participation base.”
O’Rourke said further details of the schedule for next season and on a range of other initiatives being discussed with the Hyundai A-League clubs, FOX SPORTS and other stakeholders would be announced in due course.
“Given there are also two FIFA windows for women inside the Westfield W-League this coming season, we are also looking at the Westfield Matildas program and possible ways this could apply to the Westfield W-League calendar,” he said.