Sport AFL AFL examines 18-team quarantine option

AFL examines 18-team quarantine option

In an extreme measure being suggest, teams could completely isolate in a hub to play out the season. Photo: Getty
Twitter Facebook Reddit Pinterest Email

Sydney are open to any plan that could help the AFL season resume, with the league having confirmed it is investigating the possibility of isolating all teams in one or possibly two locations.

The AFL, which reduced its regular season to 17 rounds on the eve of the opening clash, has joined the growing trend of sports across the globe to consider extreme measures in uncertain times.

The competition is suspended at least until May 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

AFL football operations general manager Steve Hocking says the league is determined to play all remaining 16 rounds.

One option being mulled by the AFL is having all players quarantined away from their families in order to complete the match schedule when they are given the green light to resume playing.

“We’re open to anything. I know the NRL is talking about something similar up here, going into hubs and being open to having multiple games over short periods of time,” Swans coach John Longmire told radio station SEN.

“We’re open to anything really, we want to get the game going again.

“There’s a fair way go … you can understand the AFL has been focused on other things the last couple of weeks.”

Hocking, speaking to The Age, suggested the league has not yet contemplated how the finals series will look in 2020.

He said all 18 AFL clubs will be given a mini pre-season of three weeks before games are again played for points, although this could become four weeks if the shutdown drags on longer.

The most important deadline for Hocking is the final week of April, when a call will be made as to whether clubs should plan to resume after May 31.

“There is no certainty around any of that (quarantine hubs), if you have a look at where some of those major competitions in other parts of the world sit. Whilst they may be exploring it, there is still a lot up in the air,” he said.

“It is just part of how you set up a fixture that is the important part, the fixture is the number one and from there, how do you execute and deliver the fixture? That is where we are currently.”