FFA Statement: Johnson urges open dialogue and collaboration during COVID-19 pandemic

Football Federation Australia (FFA) CEO, James Johnson, has called for strong dialogue and collaboration across the game during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Johnson said: “These are unprecedented and extremely difficult times for the sport and our nearly 2 million participants across the country. I ask that we approach our challenges with empathy and engage in open dialogue and meaningful collaboration.  

“Most people would not have predicted the devastating impact caused by COVID-19 to human health and the economy. The pandemic continues to have a profound impact on our game, just like other industries and business in Australia and around the globe. What we must begin to realise is that everything has shifted around us and we now operate in a different landscape to what we were used to. For our game to come through this successfully, we need to approach our current circumstances in a different way.

“Importantly, we need to demonstrate leadership which suits this new landscape. During this time, Australian football requires considered and thoughtful leadership and for our leaders to help each other and come together to tackle the challenges facing us via open dialogue and in a collaborative spirit. Instead of picking up the phone to tweet judgement, let’s make a call and ask for help or offer assistance. The politics of old and the pursuit of narrow interests at the expense of the best interests of the game, will no longer work. We have come a long way over the last 12 to 18 months and it is imperative that we continue along this trajectory and not fall into outdated practices. 

“To our fans and participants right across the country, we ask that you remain patient and stay connected and engaged with the game. Now more than ever, we need to be unified and stand in solidarity as we move through these challenging times.”