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The Australian Football League (AFL) will make a return on the 11th of June. ABC News report that the Grand Final will now likely be played in October.
Gillon McLachlan said that all clubs can return to training from Monday the 18th of May. He went on to say that full contact training can resume a week later on the 25th of May. He said, “Today’s a significant step in getting footy back for everyone, our fans, clubs players, coaches … and all who love the game,”. He continued, “We know as the situation continues to evolve, we need to remain agile and flexible, to be able to adapt where necessary.”
McLachlan did state that staff and players will be tested for the virus, while also getting some education around the virus itself. The measures will mean that each player and staff member will be tested twice a week. Furthermore, he said, “We have bi-weekly testing of every player at least 24 hours before the contact sessions and we’ll have the results back before they’re allowed to do contact sessions or play games,”.
He said that a burden must not be put on the healthcare system in Australia. He stated,”We must not place any burden on the public health system,”.”Our industry understands the opportunity we have been given, we also fully understand and accept our responsibility to our football family and to the wider community.”
However, four teams based in Western Australia and Southern Australia will have to relocate in hubs in eastern states where exemptions have been granted. Fremantle and Gold Coast Suns will complete pre-training at home before moving to the Gold Coast ahead of their first games. Furthermore, Port Adelaide and Adelaide will move in the next days or so. McLachlan acknowledged that the AFL schedule will have to flexible for it to not conflict with other sports. He said, “So if it plays out that we’re coming into the T20 World Cup or racing we’ll work around it with them and we’ll get an outcome that works for sports fans and for other sports, for everyone.
Australia have faired out quite well with their lockdown procedures. For a large country they only reported 7,000 or so cases.