Just as Australian sports were returning to some semblance of normality, the AFL 2020 season has been dealt another coronavirus-related blow.
The Queensland government has announced any Queensland-based AFL team playing a Victorian-based team will need to quarantine for 14 days after the game if they plan on remaining or returning to the state. As a result, the round 5 fixture will be shuffled to accommodate for the changes.
“We understand the decision of the Queensland Government and thank them for their support in developing the High-Performance Centres that allowed us to bring Fremantle, West Coast Eagles, Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide to the state to allow our season to resume,” Travis Auld, the AFL’s general manager, said in a media statement.
“We take seriously the role we need to play as a national leader in ensuring the Covid-19 virus is contained and we will continue to work with Government and the medical experts to conduct our season in a way that prioritises and promotes community safety.”
The AFL’s media statement said it will deal with this weekend’s changes first before confirming what the arrangements will be for the following rounds in the coming weeks.
While the AFL’s fifth round is immediately affected, the new restrictions apply to other sporting codes, including the NRL too. The next clash between a Queensland and Melbourne team is in round 10 between the Gold Coast Titans and the Melbourne Storm. It’s expected an announcement will be made for the NRL’s changes soon.
The new AFL 2020 Round 5 fixture
Thursday 2 July
- Carlton vs. St Kilda | Marvel Stadium (SEVEN) at 7:40pm
Friday 3 July
- Collingwood vs. Essendon | MCG (SEVEN) at 7:50pm
Saturday 4 July
- West Coast Eagles vs. Sydney Swans | Metricon Stadium (FOX/Kayo) at 1:45pm
- Geelong Cats vs. Gold Coast Suns | GMHBA (FOX/Kayo) at 4:35pm
- Western Bulldogs vs. North Melbourne | Marvel Stadium (SEVEN) at 7:40pm
- Brisbane Lions vs. Port Adelaide | The Gabba (FOX/Kayo) at 7:40pm
Sunday 5 July
- Adelaide Crows vs. Fremantle | Metricon Stadium (FOX/Kayo) at 1:05pm
- Melbourne vs. Richmond | MCG (SEVEN) at 3:35pm
- GWS Giants vs. Hawthorn | Giants Stadium (FOX/Kayo) at 6:10pm