Published: Mon, March 23, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

'There's No Winners Today': AFL Season Postponed Amid Coronavirus Emergency

'There's No Winners Today': AFL Season Postponed Amid Coronavirus Emergency

Australia's hugely popular Aussie Rules suspended its season on Sunday in what it called "the most serious threat to our game in 100 years", but rugby league vowed to play on despite tough new restrictions to contain the coronavirus.

Australia's main football leagues will attempt to continue their seasons despite a government recommendation against all "non-essential" travel.

The first round of the AFL season was still in progress when league chief executive Gillon McLachlan announced the suspension.

Sunday's scheduled Hawthorn vs Brisbane and West Coast vs Melbourne games will complete round one.

"This is a very human part of the business and this virus is taking a very personal toll physically on many people and will continue to do so", McLachlan said.

New South Wales and Victoria are among states in Australia planning to shut down non-essential services and travel over the next 48 hours amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "It is unprecedented in the impact it's having on the wider game and in our community".

"Essential travel, what we are referring to is work-related travel that could be essential, it could be compassionate grounds, but also, when it comes to essential supplies and other important arrangements needed to keep Australia running".

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Morrison, though, told a news conference on Sunday: "I would say not".

Fremantle AFLW utility Ebony Antonio has hit out at the AFL Commission, moments after it was determined no premiership would be awarded in this year's now-cancelled AFLW season.

"I'm sure we can work those issues through on a practical case-by-case basis", Morrison said.

Australia's major football codes have begun to bow to the inevitable and suspend competitions in the face of increasingly stringent restrictions on travel and social contact due to the coronavirus outbreak. "But I'm not going to pre-empt those outcomes".

McLachlan said the AFL is still planning on playing the remaining 144 matches of a reduced 2020 season.

"Port Adelaide fully supports this decision and reiterates the health and safety of its players, coaches, staff and the broader community is paramount".

"This changes hourly and decisions we make today could change tomorrow".

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