A-League grand final date set

The A-League grand final will be played on June 26 following the decision of three finals-bound clubs to withdraw from this year’s Asian Football Confederation Champions League.

The season was scheduled to finish by June 21 due to the Champions League commitments of Sydney FC, Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar.

But the AFC on Friday confirmed it had been notified by Football Australia that the three clubs had pulled out of the Champions League.

The reason given is understood to have been Covid-19-related fears for the safety of players.

“The matter will now be referred to the relevant AFC Committees, with a decision to be communicated in due course,” the AFC said in a statement.

Bobo and Sydney FC hope to play in another A-League grand final on June 26. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

The A-League finals series is set to start next Friday, with the first weekend of matches involving the Roar, Central Coast Mariners, Macarthur FC and Adelaide United.

Melbourne City and Sydney FC, who will finish first and second on the ladder respectively, enter the finals series the following weekend when they will host matches at AAMI Park and Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

The grand final will then be held a week later at a yet-to-be determined venue.

A-League boss Greg O’Rourke said: “While it’s been a logistical challenge like no other to get to this point of the season, and we remain as flexible as we need to be in current circumstances, all eyes will be on the football in the last few weeks of this campaign.”

Sydney FC, who can’t be dislodged from second spot, meet Brisbane Roar at Dolphin Stadium in one of three matches on Saturday.

In Saturday’s other games, the Mariners host Western United, and Perth Glory visit McDonald Jones Stadium to meet the Newcastle Jets.’

On Sunday, the Victory take on City in a Melbourne derby at AAMI Park.

A date for a previously postponed clash in Melbourne between City and Newcastle is yet to be announced.

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