EXPLAINED: Why Coast’s world cup tournament was cancelled
THE possibility of border closures and a request to provide extra funds to ensure a COVID-safe event led to this year's Joeys Mini World Cup being cancelled.
General manager of Fraser Coast Tourism and Events, Martin Simons said an additional $15,000 had been needed to stage the sporting event.
He said the decision was made by the Fraser Coast Regional Council not to advance the funds because of concerns surrounding further coronavirus outbreaks in New South Wales and Logan.
It was decided the money would be better spent making next year's event bigger and better, Mr Simons said.
He said there had been real hope the event could go ahead in late September.
"A week ago, things looked very different to what they do today," he said.
Since then, Queensland has declared Greater Sydney a hot spot.
Travellers have also been accused of failing to declare when they had come from areas of concern, such as Victoria, which has been placed in lockdown.
"We have the crisis in Victoria and concern about cross-border leakages," Mr Simons said.
If the border were to close, 10 teams from NSW would be unable to travel, which would damage the competition, he said.
Teams from within Queensland could also choose not to come to the region if there were heightened travel concerns, the tourism boss said.
Mr Simons said the extra funds would have been spent on crowd control to maintain public distancing, as well as other safety measures.
He said considerable time had been spent coming up with a COVID-safe plan for the event and those measures would likely be put in place when the event was held next year.
"It is regrettable that we are in this situation but the health of the community and protecting the Fraser Coast's reputation as a COVID responsible, safe destination is of utmost importance at this time," Mr Simons said.
Speaking to the Chronicle earlier today, tournament director Heinrich Haussler said the cancellation was disappointing.
Mr Haussler said this was because the tournament brought many people to the Coast, which supported local businesses and gave children an opportunity to get out and play football.