The AFL season is in disarray after the Queensland Government effectively blocked West Coast from playing Richmond on the Gold Coast this week because of a concerning spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria.
The Queensland Government has imposed tough restrictions for any Queensland team or Queensland-based team playing in Melbourne or against a Melbourne-based team.
That means any team playing against a Melbourne team or in Melbourne would have to quarantine for 14 days.
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West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide are currently in hubs on the Gold Coast and aren’t due to return home for another fortnight.
The change has forced the AFL to turn the draw for Round 5 on its head, scrapping the Richmond-West Coast blockbuster scheduled for Metricon Stadium on Thursday night.
Instead, Richmond will play Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday, while the Sydney Swans will make the trip to the Gold Coast to take on the Eagles on Saturday afternoon.
The Carlton-St Kilda clash scheduled for Sunday will now be played on Thursday night.
The Gold Coast Suns will still travel to Geelong this weekend to take on the Cats, despite Queensland’s Chief Health Officer also declaring Geelong a hotspot.
But Round 6 is in serious doubt with both the Gold Coast Suns and Brisbane Lions due to play against Hawthorn and Collingwood respectively in Melbourne that weekend.
AFL General Manager of Clubs and
“I want to thank the Queensland Government and the Chief Health Officer for their support of the AFL season and for helping us to make the changes this week that are in line with their quarantine requirements related to Covid-19 hotspots,” Mr Auld said.
“Since the beginning of this Covid-19 pandemic we have said consistently that every decision we make will be anchored in the advice of Government and the Chief Health Officers and that we would always rely on their advice in developing the strict protocols we have in place to ensure we protect the wider community as well as our players and staff.
“We understand the decision of the Queensland Government and thank them for their support in developing the High-Performance Centres that allowed us to bring Fremantle, West Coast Eagles, Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide to the state to allow our season to resume.”
REVISED AFL DRAW FOR ROUND 5
Thursday, July 2
Carlton v St Kilda, Marvel Stadium (SEVEN), 7.40pm AEST
Friday, July 3
Collingwood v Essendon, MCG (SEVEN), 7.50pm AEST
Saturday, July 4
West Coast Eagles v Sydney Swans, Metricon Stadium (FOX), 1.45pm AEST
Geelong Cats v Gold Coast, GMHBA (FOX), 4.35pm AEST
Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne, Marvel Stadium (SEVEN), 7.40pm AEST
Brisbane Lions v Port Adelaide, The Gabba (FOX), 7:40pm AEST
Sunday, July 5
Adelaide Crows v Fremantle, Metricon Stadium (FOX), 1:05pm AEST
Melbourne v Richmond, MCG (SEVEN), 3:35pm AEST
Greater Western Sydney v Hawthorn, Giants Stadium (FOX), 6:10pm AEST