Farrer League president David Oehm says he felt a sense of relief after the decision was made to cancel the 2020 season.
In a most extraordinary year, Oehm said extraordinary efforts were made by clubs and AFL Riverina to try to avoid the league going into recess for the first time since its formation in 1958.
But COVID-19 ultimately claimed the competition last Friday afternoon, just a week out from its scheduled start.
"I was very sad that was there was no football but I was relieved in a sense," Oehm said.
"I believe we made the right decision. Community and public health comes before sport, even though I wanted sport to get up and running."
Barellan, Coleambally and The Rock-Yerong Creek had withdrawn and Charles Sturt University were in doubt, prompting the decision to cancel the Farrer League.
The five remaining clubs were invited to consider an AFL Riverina Championships with interested Riverina League clubs.
Early this week, all opted against playing.
Oehm is well aware it hasn't been an easy few months for clubs navigating the pandemic and said he didn't influence their decisions.
"It's tough and I can appreciate all the clubs' efforts. I wanted to leave each club to their own decision and I'm probably glad that each of the Farrer League clubs made the decision that they did," Oehm said.
"Like I said, I wanted to see football going, don't get me wrong. But health comes first and (recent weeks) have shown just how quickly the virus does spread.
"Whilst there's no cases here, it's proved the possibilities - someone's just got to come up from down the border way and cough and splutter and then one person gets it, one leads to three, three leads to 10..."
Oehm was to stand down as president this year, after nine seasons in the job.
However, he hasn't ruled out continuing in the role for another year, given this season didn't eventuate.
He'll discuss it with the league's competition management committee.
Oehm was always intending to remain on the CMC again next year.