A-League officials are confident that at least 25 per cent of AAMI Stadium will be open to fans for Sunday’s semi-final between Melbourne City and Macarthur FC.
However, similar crowd restrictions in Victoria a week later would result in the grand final being moved to another state if City were to earn hosting rights with a win this weekend.
An announcement is expected on Wednesday on the amount of spectators that will be allowed into the 29,500-captacity AAMI Park for Sunday’s match.
Talks have been ongoing between A-League officials and the Victorian government about crowd numbers.
Unlike the AFL, who have moved matches out of Victoria this weekend, the A-League is keen to give Premier’s Plate winners City their deserved hosting rights – at least for the semi-final.
Submissions for the stadium’s capacity to be limited to 25 per cent, 35 per cent and 50 per cent have been forwarded to the Victorian government by the Australian Professional Leagues, who run the A-League.
Counting down to Sunday 😤#CmonCitypic.twitter.com/FCFhBQJ8J2
“We’re confident of at least a 25 per cent capacity for Sunday,” APL managing director Danny Townsend said.
That would mean a crowd of just under 7400.
Townsend said while that was not ideal, it would be acceptable for semi-final.
“But we couldn’t restrict grand final numbers to that,” he said.
“If there were restrictions for the grand final, we would move the match to either Sydney or Adelaide.”
Sydney FC and Adelaide United meet in Saturday night’s semi-final at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, with the winner to advance to the grand final.
Melbourne City, already without Socceroos trio Jamie Maclaren, Curtis Good and Connor Metcalfe, are sweating on the fitness of key pair Andrew Nabbout (adductor) and Rostyn Griffiths (hamstring) for Sunday’s match.
Both were forced off the field with injuries in City’s shock 2-1 loss to the Newcastle Jets last Thursday night.
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