AFL confident of resilient season restart

As the AFL closes in on a return to training, the league is confident it has the resilience to avoid disruption if a coronavirus case emerges among players or staff.

Teams can resume non-contact training in groups of eight on Monday, then full contact training on May 25.

There are a range of mechanisms in place in a bid to avoid an outbreak.

Players and officials have already undergone the first of what will soon be twice-weekly coronavirus tests, while they will face daily health checks.

“We can’t be risk-free but we’ve so far tested 1260 players and officials, we’ve got zero confirmed cases of COVID-19,” AFL chairman Richard Goyder told ABC Grandstand.

“We’re going to be testing players twice a week, they’re going to have a health check every day as are the officials around them.

“We’ve got seven layers of protocols we’re putting in place to ensure we protect the health and wellbeing of our players.

“We’ll also have some mechanisms that mean if we do get a positive test we can hopefully know about it early enough and then we can isolate.

“We’re building a significant amount of resilience into what we’re doing – that’s how we’ve got this licence, if you like, to restart.”

The AFL is still in negotiations with the AFLPA regarding restrictions players will face but players or officials caught breaching them will be charged under the AFL’s new “conduct unbecoming” rules and face stiff penalties.

West Coast, Fremantle, Adelaide and Port Adelaide will arrive in their Gold Coast quarantine hubs by May 24, allowing them to start full contact training the next day.





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