Aust sports coalition seeks government aid

Australia's major sports have all been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Australia's major sports have all been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Seven major Australian sports have come together to seek government assistance to ensure their survival as the coronavirus pandemic cripples their finances.

The A-League on Tuesday became the last Australian top-flight competition to suspend its season as football codes face a desperate scrap for cash, with clubs facing the threat of extinction.

Earlier this month, Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys said the NRL would need financial assistance from the government if the league was to remain "financially viable".

However, with the nation effectively shut down amid this unprecedented health crisis that is gripping the world, rescuing Australia's sports from financial peril is far from the first order of business with Prime Minister Scott Morrison responding by saying that the NRL was not "high on the list" of priorities.

The NRL, AFL, Football Federation Australia, Rugby Australia, Cricket Australia, Tennis Australia and Netball Australia are united via the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS), which aims to work with the government to ensure Australian sport survives the ongoing crisis.

"While each sport has its own particular circumstances and responsibilities, there are many impacts of coronavirus that all of sport is experiencing," COMPPS said in a statement.

"From a whole-of-sport perspective, COMPPS members are looking at ways of working together with government on addressing the impact on sport and developing a plan to ensure that sport survives the current situation and emerges on the other side to play a unique and powerful role in rebuilding Australia through the sporting community."

Staff cuts in the AFL and NRL have already been savage since their competitions were put on hold in the past week while players and officials are poised to take huge pay cuts.

COMPPS' website states its seven sports represent the interests of 16,000 clubs and almost 9 million participants.

Thousands more also work in the background or volunteer so these sports can be available to Australians.

Australian Associated Press