The Adelaide Crows and the AFL are investigating a possible breach of the AFL’s training protocols by a group of players in a quarantine hub.
- The Crows’ head of football said players apparently did not observe AFL rules to only train in pairs during a skills session
- The 16 players are staying at a Barossa Valley resort as a quarantine hub after returning from interstate
- The AFL says competition officials would be “furious” if the breach were found to be true
The Crows have 16 players staying at a Barossa Valley resort for two weeks after returning from interstate to prepare for the recommencement of the season.
Adelaide’s head of football Adam Kelly says the players apparently did not observe the AFL rules to only train in pairs during a skills session at the resort.
An AFL spokesperson said competition officials would be “furious” if the breach were found to be true.
“The AFL is investigating the reported breach of our protocols that are in place to protect the health and wellbeing of players, staff and the wider community,” the spokesperson said.
“We have been very clear about the importance of all clubs adhering to the protocols and take this matter extremely seriously.”
No other guests are currently staying at the resort as it is temporarily closed to the public.
Kelly says the club will liaise with the AFL about the issue.
In a statement, he said players “were told to complete any training in accordance with current AFL training protocols, which include not training in more than pairs and at all times maintaining social distancing, while staying at the facility”.
“It appears this may not have happened for the entirety of a skills session and we are in the process of gathering the facts and liaising with the AFL.”
The AFL’s preferred model for the restart of the 2020 season is a home and away format, which would require teams to travel between states.
But that already appears up in the air after the WA Government said the health and safety of the state’s citizens would not be compromised to accommodate that plan.
The disruption to the season has already seen accusations of bias towards Victorian teams thrown around, after the AFL ruled to prevent certain clubs resuming group training.
WA’s lifting of its limit on outdoor gatherings to 10 people brought it in line with South Australia, while Queensland also eased its restrictions.
West Coast’s Brad Sheppard was optimistic about the prospect of getting together with a bigger group to train, telling TAB Radio it could give teams “a leg up on the other states”.
But the league poured cold water on that idea over the weekend, with AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan ruling that until teams in every state could have outdoor gatherings of 10 people or more, no-one would be allowed to do so.