The Newcastle Jets’ A-League Men’s clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers has been grounded on Boxing Day.
While the match will still be played at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday 26 December, it’ll proceed behind closed doors – robbing local supporters of the chance to watch the boys in action on home turf.
The A-Leagues (APL) confirmed the ruling, in light of the ever-evolving COVID-19 outbreak sweeping across Newcastle and the Hunter.
“The decision to host the game without fans in attendance was agreed to between both clubs,” a spokesperson said.
“It’s in line with other events in the Newcastle community, due to the pandemic.
“All ticket holders for the match will receive full refunds.
“The safety of fans, members, players and staff is the forefront priority.”
Jets’ executive chairman Shane Mattiske said the decision was a difficult, yet appropriate, one to make.
“As a part of this community, we have a responsibility to play our role in helping to decrease the spread of this recent COVID-19 outbreak,” he explained.
“We know that many families and organisations in our community have already been affected by this recent outbreak, as have the Jets.
“It is clear we need to consider the appropriateness of staging a mass event at this time in Newcastle.
“Having already experienced multiple COVID cases throughout our playing squads, we’ve experienced first-hand how quickly this variant can spread.
“So, we want to do our best to minimise the risk of transmission among our fans and members.
“We will continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds.
“Please stay safe and look after yourself and your loved ones.”
The Isuzu UTE A-League match will be screened on Paramount+ from 5pm on Sunday 26 December.
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