The AFL is set to crack down on the number of partners allowed in special quarantine hubs set up for Victorian clubs’ move to Queensland.
The AFL is set to compress the rest of its home-and-away season into a 10-week span after shifting all Victorian-based clubs into Queensland hubs on Tuesday.
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The drastic move was made amid spikes in coronavirus cases in Melbourne, with the 10 Victorian clubs to be based in Queensland at a cost of at least $3 million a week.
The AFL also announced a hub for wives and girlfriends would be set up, allowing loved ones to serve two weeks’ quarantine before being able to move in with the players.
Players families will quarantine at the Mantra resort in Southport before joining the footballers.
However not everyone will be able to have their loved ones join them.
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan suggested only married players and ones in long-term relationships will be allowed to have their partners fly in.
“Families and loved ones who want to join their partners in Queensland, we will facilitate this,” McLachlan said at a press conference on Tuesday.
“There’s some criteria around kids, those who are living with partners and those who are in longer-term relationships.
“It’s not for someone who’s had a partner for a few weeks, but anything that’s of substance, we have people who will work through that criteria.
“We’re not going to be silly about this.”
According to The Herald Sun, a number of teams have stipulated that players in relationships of at least 12 months can have their partners with them.
AFL grand final likely outside of Melbourne
Melbourne won't host any more home-and-away games this season and the grand final is likely to be played outside of the Victorian capital for the first time.
Queensland on Wednesday made its pitch to host the premiership decider, joining bids from governments in Western Australia, South Australia and NSW.
“If the season is largely played in Queensland then I think it's only fair we also host the grand final,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
McLachlan said the location for the showpiece game had yet to be discussed in detail.
But “clearly people will draw bows” from the relocation of all Victorian clubs to Queensland, he noted.
“The grand final is at the MCG until there are circumstances and reasons that it can't be,” McLachlan told reporters.
“And then we will make a different decision. But we're not talking about that today.”
McLachan said the shifting the Victorian clubs offered greater certainty in a season which has completed six of 17 rounds before finals.
“This is a clear plan that makes Queensland the base for our competition and provides greater certainty for everyone,” he said.
Victorian teams based in Queensland will travel interstate to play games in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney.
In addition, matches could be scheduled for Cairns and in the Northern Territory and Tasmania.
McLachlan said reported costs of about $3 million a week for maintaining the Victorian clubs in Queensland were “in the ball park”.
“This is financially challenging for the industry and we're making obviously tough decisions,” he said.
“But we have got a big balance sheet ... so I feel very good about where we're at.”