The AFL is working to rejig its fixture again with Tasmania refusing to open its borders to people travelling from Queensland.
Tasmania premier Peter Gutwein confirmed the round-11 game between North Melbourne and Melbourne will not be able to take place on August 9 at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena.
Gutwein did not address the Kangaroos’ planned clash with Brisbane in the Tasmanian capital on August 15, but that match is also likely to be moved to another state.
“The decision that has been arrived at is that for North Melbourne and Melbourne supporters, unfortunately, they won’t be playing here on the ninth of August,” Gutwein told reporters on Friday.
“We will not do anything that we believe will put the health of Tasmanians at risk. In terms of the AFL, that is the least of my considerations.
“I would hope that AFL could be played here later in the year but that will largely be dependent upon the circumstances of the states where the teams are based.”
The AFL has started the process of relocating the Roos-Demons match.
It comes a day after the league moved the round-nine game between Carlton and Hawthorn from next Thursday to Friday.
The AFL has already had to make countless fixture changes during the coronavirus-impacted season.
“The AFL acknowledges today’s announcement by the Tasmanian government, and appreciate premier Gutwein’s continued support to host matches in the state this season,” an AFL spokesperson said.
“All through this season we have been led by government advice and protocols and will continue to be flexible and agile as we find a solution.”
The Kangaroos and Hawthorn are contracted to play games in Tasmania this year.
North Melbourne chief executive Ben Amarfio said the club would adapt to any changes the AFL needed to make.
“We will work with the AFL to reschedule any affected games to Queensland and we will obviously endeavour to secure replacement games in Hobart when the borders re-open to Queensland,” he said.
Gutwein said Tasmania would have “safe travel bubbles’ with Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory from August 7.
Tasmania will not open its borders to people from Queensland or New South Wales until at least August 14, with the situation to be reassessed next month.
All 10 Victorian AFL clubs will be based in Queensland – with two at a time rotating through Perth – for the rest of the home-and-away season.