SYDNEY, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Wellington Phoenix, the only A-League club based in New Zealand, will relocate to Australia for the upcoming season due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.
"The club has made the difficult decision to base the Phoenix squad out of New South Wales (NSW), Australia for the start of the 2020-2021 season," the Phoenix said in a statement on Tuesday.
All players will assemble in NSW in the week commencing November 1, so they can begin training as a team ahead of the league's December 27 start date.
The Phoenix said they would review the potential to play home games in New Zealand should a trans-Tasman bubble be created during the season.
The current one-way trans-Tasman bubble only allows travelers from New Zealand to arrive in NSW and several other states without having to quarantine for 14 days. However, there is no change for travel from Australia to New Zealand at the moment.
"This is dependent on changes being made by the New Zealand government around the two-week quarantine process upon a person's return to New Zealand, when it is deemed safe to do so, and the costs incurred of relocation back to New Zealand," the club stated.
The Phoenix thanked all players for their sacrifices as it prepared to move operations to NSW for the second time since the pandemic struck.
"The club would like to recognise the continued sacrifice of its players, coaches and technical staff, who again face the prospect of being separated from their families and loved ones for a long period of time," it said. Enditem