The business end of winter community sport seasons is in severe doubt after this weekend's action was cancelled.
All community sporting competitions have been called off after COVID-19 cases spiked in regional Victoria on Friday.
"In the last few days, we've seen the latest COVID-19 outbreak emerge as a serious challenge in regional Victoria,'' a state government statement said.
"We have new cases and wastewater detections in Shepparton, which means that there is a very high likelihood that we'll see new cases in the regions over the coming days.
"That's why, in the best interest of our participants and the local community, we are asking that all community sport is cancelled this weekend. In recent days we have seen evidence of this virus spreading to very young children. This is evidence yet again that the Delta variant is more infectious and deadlier than anything we've faced as a community.
"We have a responsibility to protect the health and wellbeing of the families and communities that we support. While no community sport this weekend will be a blow to many of you, it is so important that we take every step to protect children in our community.
"We've seen how quickly the Delta variant of this virus can spread and regional Victoria has worked incredibly hard to keep this virus out of its communities.
"By reducing the movement of people and keeping children as safe as we possibly can, we reduce the risk this outbreak spreading between communities in regional Victoria and protect the children that are central to the community sport we enjoy every week."
The Bendigo Amateur Soccer League was already playing catch-up with its championship season and will now be forced to go back to the drawing board.
The AFL announced on Friday morning that the Bendigo Pioneers would play in an all-country NAB League finals series.
The country conference finals - including the Pioneers, Geelong Falcons, Gippsland Power, Greater Western Victoria Rebels and Murray Bushrangers - was scheduled to begin on the weekend of August 28-29.
Those plans are now in jeopardy.
Further details on restrictions are expected to be announced on Saturday.
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