Detailed restart plans needed

April 20, 2020 2:02 pm in by

The AFL season can’t restart until it demonstrates how it intends to play games amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Victoria’s chief health officer says.

Brett Sutton has been in regular discussions with AFL boss Gillon McLachlan but believes any resumption can’t just be focused on Victoria.

“My suggestion was it needs to be a national conversation because it does relate to how teams can move around the country,” Sutton told reporters on Monday.

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“We don’t want a situation where everyone’s in quarantine crossing a state border for 14 days. The AFL can’t work in that regard.

“But it needs a detailed proposal that works through exactly how this is managed, how the physical distancing will be in place and surveillance for illness of any players is managed so that’s still to come through.”

The competition has been shutdown until at least May 31 because of the coronavirus but a return date will soon be announced.

McLachlan is adamant he will be able to deliver definitive details around the competition’s resumption date by the end of April

But the AFL is preparing for an entire season without spectators.

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“I take a line through what Brett Sutton said … (and) I think that’s going to be challenging (to host crowds) this year,” McLachlan told 3AW on Monday.

“That doesn’t mean it won’t happen later in the year, but certainly not contemplating crowds at the start.

“And I think if you take a line through what Brett Sutton said, who in Victoria will be the guy making the decision, I think it’s a challenge to have (crowds) at all this year.”

(C) AAP 2020