AFL North-East Border chairman John Byrne will this week ramp up the pressure on the Victorian government to ensure a level playing field for cross-border competitions including the Ovens and Murray and Tallangatta and District football-netball leagues.
Mr Byrne has had written responses from sports minister Martin Pakula and community sport minister Ros Spence to his suggestion for a sporting bubble where COVID-19 crowd caps are the same on both sides of the Victorian-NSW border.
"I am happy with the support we are getting from local politicians, but we just need to keep pushing our case," Mr Byrne said.
"With the announcement you can have 50,000 people at the MCG where they can spread people out and control things extremely well, but we can do that as well.
"Clubs will do everything the government requires to make sure they can have good crowds."
Eyebrows have been raised at reports 7000 people attended a rock concert at Ballarat at the weekend, but football-netball clubs in the area will also be subject to a 1000-patron cap.
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Clubs can make a case to health officials for extra crowds.
Myrtleford president Ian Wales said the club had submitted a bid for a bigger crowd at its Easter game.
"We're hopeful, but time is definitely against us in getting it approved," he said.
Traditionally, Easter matches attract crowds well over 1000 people with Wodonga Raiders, Myrtleford and Wangaratta Rovers hosting Easter matches this year.
Yarrawonga is once again playing its Easter match at Mulwala and can host a crowd of 3000.
Mr Byrne said country communities had successfully played their part in the COVID fight.
"Regional Victoria has been terrific in following all the rules and you can see that yourself on a daily basis and Daniel Andrews has said himself regional Victoria has done a tremendous job," Mr Byrne said.
"Because we live on the border things are just more complicated with a state border running through what is essentially one town with 100,000 people (Albury-Wodonga).
"But governments were smart enough to work out we needed an economic bubble to make the whole thing work for both states.
"Why can't we do it with a sports bubble to make it work for physical and mental health, well-being, fitness and enjoyment reasons?"
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