Australian Football League 2020 Season is to Begin as Planned Despite Coronavirus
The Australian Football League (AFL) will press ahead with the opening weekend of the top flight Australian rules season despite new measures to control the coronavirus introduced by the government.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday declared a “human biosecurity emergency” which he said could last at least six months, telling the country’s citizens to abandon travel abroad and avoid gatherings of more than 100 people.
The decision was taken following meetings with club chief executives, Australia’s chief medical officer and government representatives. “We don’t know how many games we will get into this 153-game journey before we have to pause,” said AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan.
Richmond play Carlton behind closed doors at Melbourne’s MCG on Thursday.
The AFL Players Association advised the AFL on Tuesday that its players wanted to start the season. The commission has already reduced the 2020 season from 22 matches to 17 in a bid to provide more flexibility should games be halted.