Words: ACFC Media
Tuesday 14 September 2021
AUCKLAND, New Zealand - New Zealand Football and Northern Regional Football made key announcements about the remainder of football activity for 2021 today.
Northern Regional Football email to all stakeholders said the remainder of the Auckland football season for all grades and levels of competitions have been cancelled.
With between 81 percent and 90 percent of Lotto NRFL seasons already completed, final placings as at August 14-15, 2021, were determined by the competitions regulatory framework.
This means Auckland City FC U-23, coached by Kris Bright and Paul Drake, were confirmed as Lotto NRFL U-23 league title winners.
The Northern League competition, overseen by New Zealand Football, was terminated for the season with the Auckland City FC having already wrapped up the league title on merit prior to lockdown.
Northern Regional Football
Northern Regional Football CEO Laura Menzies said: "I’m gutted to say that yesterday’s COVID-19 Alert Level announcement means we’ve decided to cancel the remainder of our Auckland season for all grades and levels of competitions.
"We did everything we could to play again, creating many, many season scenarios, and working constructively with Council as well as cricket and softball on what grounds could be available, including a short season extension.
"Ultimately our large scale and the logistics required around safety and record keeping, with our Auckland community at the centre of this outbreak, meant the timing just didn’t work.
"I know this is really difficult news and I’m sorry for all the players, volunteers, officials and administrators that our 2021 season hasn’t finished the way we all wanted. Thanks for all your hard work and patience through lockdown.
"When we do reduce levels in Auckland, the NRF team is keen and available support the running of junior and youth festivals or friendly football as safety and timing allows," she said.
Following the extension of Alert Level 4 in Auckland, New Zealand Football has unfortunately had to make the difficult decision to terminate the remainder of the Northern League season.— New Zealand Football (@NZ_Football) September 14, 2021
Fixtures in the #ChathamCup and #KateSheppardCup will also be moved. #NZNationalLeague
New Zealand Football
The Men's National League Championship is now scheduled for 16-17 October with the Grand Final to be played on 18-19 December, 2021.
Following the extension of Alert Level 4 in Auckland, NZF unfortunately has had to make the difficult decision to terminate the remainder of the Northern League season and cancel any yet to be played fixtures.
With football activity not possible atAlert Level 3 and 4, there is now insufficient time to allow a return to play period and completion of the league before the start of the already delayed National League Championship.
As per the NZF National League COVID-19 Contingencies the competition will end with current league places taken as they stand. This is based on clubs having already played 85% of the competition.
Although some teams have played one less fixture than others, the current top 4 maintain a higher points per game average and as such will be the sides that qualify to participate in the National League Championship, due to commence 16-17 October.
NZF will provide additional updates to stakeholders where further decisions have been made on national competitions with the next update no later than Monday, 27 September.