Questions about vaccine mandates for domestic professional soccer players continue as New South Wales' government refuses to specify if unvaccinated players will be allowed entrance into stadiums.
The Australian Professional Leagues (APL) released the schedules for the first six round of the A-League and the first four round of the W-League on Thursday, September 23. With these new schedules, the seasons will start with both leagues split into two conferences.
Teams in New South Wales as well as the Wellington Phoenix will be in one conference for both leagues, playing all their games in the state, while the remaining teams will be in the other conference and are to play the majority of their games in Victoria.
The Sydney Morning Herald now reports that the New South Wales government has refused to clarify to the publication if unvaccinated players will be allowed entrance into the state's stadiums. New South Wales is not the only state where vaccine mandate questions remain.
The Herald also reporter earlier this week that Andrews government officials had told the publication that the state will implement new allowances for fully vaccinated people to be able to attend hospitality venues and major events including live A-League games held in Victoria.
Whether the same access to stadiums only to the fully vaccinated will also be required for players was not stated. If they are not for either or both states, this could effectively lead to a start of the season ban for many of both league's unvaccinated players.
The APL has stated that they have not mandated vaccination for players in either league. The A-League and the W-League are also not the first to face possible restrictions due to external vaccination requirements.
In an interview yesterday with Fox Sports News, National Rugby League CEO Andrew Abdo stated that while the league won't enforce a vaccine mandate, that employment decision remains with individual clubs.
In the National Basketball League, the New Zealand Breakers released player Tai Webster from the club due to his inability to travel freely because of his refusal to get vaccinated.
Should vaccination requirements be continued and/or imposed by different states for state and stadium entry, there could be more players like Webster released or not signed due to their inability to freely travel or have access to playing grounds.
However, the Herald reports that according to sources with the Professional Footballers Australia, the Australian football players' union, 95 percent of players, coaches and support staff are already partially or fully vaccinated.