JUST days after the 2020 Koori Knockout was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year's National Indigenous Football Championships has followed suit.
On Sunday, it was announced the fifth annual tournament, held at South Nowra's Ison Park each October, has been unfortunately called off.
"With all that's happening around the world at the moment and all of the social distancing measures currently in place, we've made the difficult decision to cancel this year's National Indigenous Football Championships," said NIFC tournament director and founder Bernie McLeod.
"We especially have concerns for our Elders and children - we'd hate to see anyone get affected by the virus.
"The current crowd restrictions on outdoor gatherings would make things even more difficult to manage.
"The fact the Koori Knockout made a similar decision, reinforces to us we are making the right call."
McLeod explained team nominations for next year's tournament would open in December.
"I'm extremely passionate about Indigenous sport and believe this cancellation can be a positive, as it gives us more time to plan a bigger and better NIFC in 2021," McLeod said.
"We're aware competitions like this don't happen overnight and we've made huge progress in just five years.
"It's important we keep developing our sport at a grassroots level, because it's an exciting time to be involved in the sport - especially as an Indigenous player."
Especially as this year was supposed to be the First Nation's maiden appearance at the CONIFA World Cup in North Macedonia - which was postponed in April.
"We are continuing to develop more alliances to other Indigenous communities, who are keen to play more international football matches," McLeod, who is part of the Wreck Bay Sharks, said.
"We are still waiting to hear from CONIFA as to when the tournament will be held, but whenever they do, we will be ready to make our first ever appearance at the World Cup."