A-League fixtures released with bosses confident of on-time start to season

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A-League bosses are confident almost all interstate travel restrictions will have eased by the time the 2020-21 season kicks off on Dec. 27.

FFA released the fixture for the upcoming season on Tuesday, with matches scheduled to be played in five states.

New Zealand's Wellington Phoenix are currently the only team forced to relocate at this stage for the season, with their home matches to be played in Wollongong.

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Queensland's decision to reopen their border to all of NSW from Dec. 1, means of the states and territories involved in the A-League fixtures, only Western Australia remain a question mark.

Under current restrictions, travellers from South Australia, NSW and Victoria have to enter quarantine periods upon arrival in WA.

Perhaps with those restrictions in mind, Perth Glory won't start their season until Jan. 16 when they host Adelaide United at HBF Park.

The Glory have another home fixture on Jan. 20 against Brisbane Roar before then travelling to NSW for three matches on the road.

If WA's restrictions have not eased by Christmas, the fixture against the Reds could be affected while the Feb. 6 clash with Macarthur FC at HBF Stadium may also be in doubt if travellers from NSW are still required to quarantine in WA by that stage.

FFA head of leagues Greg O'Rourke said anticipating COVID restrictions was just one of the considerations to be anticipated for the draw.

"This has been one of the most challenging fixture processes we've ever been involved in because of the continually evolving restrictions, but our priority has always been bringing the best football to fans in the safest way, working with all our stakeholders to do so," O'Rourke said.

The 2020-21 season will start with a historic double-header involving expansion club Macarthur and Western Sydney Wanderers at Bankwest Stadium on Dec. 27.

That match will be played alongside the W-League opener between the Wanderers and Melbourne City -- the first time the men's and women's competitions have kicked off on the same date.

The Roar have also shifted away from Suncorp Stadium -- their home ground since the inaugural A-League campaign -- with their home matches to be played at Redcliffe's Dolphin Stadium, north of Brisbane.

The league's later start and subsequent run into the winter months has also created a challenge with access to venues primarily used by the NRL and AFL yet to be negotiated.

The situation particularly affects Western United with eight of their home matches yet to have a confirmed venue.