The 2020 AFL season has been postponed after just one round due to the coronavirus outbreak, CEO Gil McLachlan announced at a press conference held at half-time during the Hawthorn v Brisbane game at the MCG being shown on Seven and Fox Footy.
The 2020 NAB AFL Women’s season has been cancelled, with no premiership to be awarded.
Clubs were on Sunday afternoon informed of the decision reached by the AFL Commission. The scheduled Hawthorn-Brisbane and West Coast-Melbourne games ere completed to finish round one.
Until the football resumes, Port Adelaide sit on top of the AFL ladder and their Saturday opponent Gold Coast is on the bottom.
McLachlan said the AFL industry was facing its biggest financial crisis in its history, but the key priority was to do everything possible to keep players, staff, and supporters healthy and well through this pandemic.
“Our industry provides livelihoods for thousands and thousands of people but our key focus at the moment – like every organisation in the country – is to do everything that needs to be done to help slow the spread of this virus and to keep people as healthy as possible,” Mr McLachlan said.
“To say this is the most serious threat to our game in 100 years is an understatement. It is unprecedented in its impact. It is unprecedented in the impact it is having on our game and the wider community, and as a community and as a code, we all need to take the unprecedented and required actions to get through this together.”
There has been unilateral support from players and the media of the move to stop playing. The decision however will leave both Seven and Fox Footy with big holes in their schedules.
Fox Footy showed an “emergency” edition of AFL 360 after Sunday’s late game at 9pm which was then followed by the first, and hopefully not the last, edition of Bounce for 2020.