Capital Football has become the latest Canberra sporting league to bite the COVID bullet, cancelling all senior and junior winter competitions.
A statement released late Tuesday cited Canberra's ongoing lockdown, the complexity of the border with regional NSW and recent club feedback as the reasons behind the decision to immediately end the season.
It comes after Capital Football was forced to cancel its annual Kanga Cup, and follows in the footsteps of the Canberra Region Rugby League, and ACT Junior Rugby Union which have also abandoned their winter seasons.
The Capital Football board met to determine the fate of this season after clubs submitted a survey last week.
"This has been a difficult decision to make, knowing the time and effort invested by players, coaches, volunteers, referees, families, and staff," a Capital Football statement said.
"Capital Football would like to extend sincere gratitude to all those who took part in the survey and provided feedback, all of which was essential for us to best align with the needs of our football community.
"Due to the extended ACT and regional NSW lockdowns, ACT Sportsgrounds only being available to winter sporting codes up until the weekend of 24-25 September 2021, the likely transition to a training only period before competitions start once lockdown is lifted, and with no suggestion of a roadmap out before double vaccination figures reach 70-80 per cent, all scenarios where a return to sport was possible, have now passed."
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Despite the league not playing out to its conclusion, Capital Football has decided to award premierships on a points per game basis, meaning Tigers FC will be crowned NPL Men's champions.
That also means Tuggeranong's relegation has been confirmed, while O'Connor will be promoted to the top division after finishing as premiers of NPL2.
Canberra Croatia will be declared NPLW champions.
"Premiers for all leagues from U12's to NPL will be awarded based on a points per match ratio, using points from all matches played," the statement said.
"This method was considered the best way to identify the premier team per league and considers the difference in the number of matches played by teams, aiming to provide the fairest outcome possible under the conditions.
"Of the people that supported promotion and relegation, the majority preferred using the points per matches played method to determine league table positions."
"This has been a difficult decision to make, knowing the time and effort invested by players, coaches, volunteers, referees, families, and staff"Capital Football