All 10 Victorian AFL Clubs Forced To Move North
All 10 Victorian-based AFL clubs will relocate to either Queensland or New South Wales after this weekend, with COVID-19 cases in Victoria continuing to rise.
This means every AFL team will be in Queensland and New South Wales, with twelve teams on the Gold Coast for round six matches, and the remaining six in Sydney for the round.
This move comes after the Queensland and South Australia governments moved to ban Victorian clubs from entering the state for games with strict regulations in place around their entry and for any other team that travels to Queensland after being in Victoria.
Damian Barrett reported it is believed the Victorian clubs will not be returning to their home state for at least a month, with two games still set to take place in Perth and one in Adelaide in round seven.
The AFL released a statement confirming the changes to the fixture.
“Round five will continue as fixtured and Victorian-based clubs will fly out at the conclusion of the round with all 10 Victorian-based teams to be temporarily relocated to other states across the country,” the AFL statement said.
“The amendment to the fixture has been made based on relevant State Government and medical officer advice to firstly ensure the safety of not only the clubs, players, officials and the wider community, but also to provide certainty to clubs and fans on the next block of games.
“The temporary relocation of all 10 Victorian-based teams out of the state will see them move to bases in Queensland, NSW and WA where they will undergo the various quarantine regimes while also continuing to adhere to the strict protocols the AFL has in place.”
AFL CEO, Gillon McLachlan, said the announcement was essential for the benefit of the wider community and everyone involved in the AFL.
“The health and safety of our people and the wider community is paramount,” McLachlan said.
“We will continue to make decisions that are anchored in the advice of governments and designed to protect our people and the wider community.
“I have said on a number of occasions that this would be a season of challenges.
“And that the one certainty is that before we completed the 2020 Toyota AFL premiership season, there would be more unique challenges along the way.
“I want to thank the governments in NSW, Queensland and WA for their support in helping us set up a series of high-performance centres that will see interstate teams based in their state in accordance with all the strict local protocols and playing games.
“I would also like to thank all of our clubs, players, coaches, umpires and officials for their continues support and ability to adapt quickly as we navigate through the changing environment.
“The Victorian clubs now temporarily moving interstate are playing their part in ensuring our season endures in a year that will continue to challenge us all.
“I have also often talked about the need for us to continue to be flexible and agile.
“As situations change across Australia, so has our response.
“And it will continue to do so,” he said.