Perth Glory players secure deal to get home for Christmas despite COVID case

The majority of Perth Glory’s A-League Men players and support staff will be home in time for Christmas after a deal was struck allowing the quarantining travelling party to take a charter flight back from Brisbane.

The Glory squad has been in hotel quarantine in Brisbane since December 16 after one of the players tested positive for COVID-19.

But rather than spending the entire 14 days in hotel rooms in the Queensland capital, all but one member of the group will be transferred to Western Australia via a charter flight provided by the Australian Professional Leagues (APL) on Thursday, then taken directly home from the airport.

The bulk of Perth’s travelling party will fulfil the remaining seven days of their quarantine in self-managed quarantine, strictly complying with local health requirements.

But that group won’t include the player who tested positive for COVID-19, with the Glory confirming he is required to remain in Queensland to complete his 14-day isolation period in hard quarantine.

“We have worked very closely with Queensland Health, WA Health and WA Police to secure this outcome and I would like to register the club’s sincere appreciation of their efforts,” Glory chief executive Tony Pignata said.

“The health and wellbeing of our players and staff has been the top priority throughout and we are extremely pleased that they will now be able to complete their quarantine at home in Perth.

“I would also like to thank the players and staff for the resilience they have shown under extremely difficult circumstances and our members and fans for the fantastic support they have provided throughout this period.”

The APL said Perth players, who are all double vaccinated, were expected to return to competition in January, dependent on athletic conditioning, “to ensure minimal impact to the team’s season”.

The Glory men haven’t played since losing to Melbourne City at AAMI Park on December 8.

“We are delighted with this outcome and, along with Perth Glory, want to thank the Governments of Western Australia and Queensland, in particular, WA Health, WA Police and QLD Health, for enabling the players to return home, without impact on the community,” A-Leagues commissioner Greg O’Rourke said.

“It has been a very challenging time for everyone involved and this is the outcome we have all been hoping for and working towards.”