Eddie McGuire makes bombshell lockdown announcement on live TV

·Sports Editor
·4-min read
Eddie McGuire, pictured here on Footy Classified.
Eddie McGuire says Victoria will almost definitely go back into lockdown. Image: Channel Nine

Eddie McGuire made the stunning announcement on Wednesday night that Victoria would be plunged back into lockdown on Thursday, hours before the official decision was made public.

It was confirmed on Thursday that Victoria will begin a seven-day lockdown from midnight, in an effort to contain a COVID-19 outbreak in the northern suburbs that has grown to 26 cases.

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Acting Premier James Merlino confirmed the state will enter the "circuit breaker" lockdown at midnight on Thursday.

"Unless something changes, this will be increasingly uncontrollable," he told reporters.

He added the spread of the outbreak was causing great concern, with more than 10,000 primary and secondary contacts.

Speaking on Footy Classified on Wednesday night, former Collingwood president McGuire revealed the decision to go back into lockdown was all-but made.

“My information from government sources is tomorrow morning it may well be announced there will be a five-day lockdown in Victoria,” he said.

“That is information coming through at the moment, unconfirmed. 

"Wait for tomorrow but the information is it could be a five-day lockdown which would mean no crowds at the football."

McGuire said co-host Caroline Wilson had received similar mail - which proved to be spot on.

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Professional sports events such as the weekend's AFL games in Melbourne will continue, but without crowds.

There are now more than 79 exposure sites across Melbourne and regional Victoria, including the MCG and Marvel Stadium.

An infected person attended the Collingwood-Port Adelaide game at the MCG on Sunday, while one was also at the North Melbourne-Essendon clash at Marvel Stadium later that same day.

The MCG, pictured here after it was listed as an exposure site.
A general view of the MCG after it was listed as an exposure site. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Covid-19 outbreak throws AFL fixture into chaos

Meanwhile, Gold Coast's clash with Hawthorn in Darwin on Saturday night is set to be either postponed or moved to Queensland.

All Victorian-based AFL clubs have been forced into lockdown as the state deals with the fresh COVID-19 outbreak.

Essendon and Carlton have left Melbourne early for their interstate matches this weekend and still plan to return to Victoria after their respective round 11 games despite the return of strict protocols.

The nine Melbourne-based clubs, as well as Geelong, will face new restrictions for at least the next seven days with players and staffers recommended to only leave their homes for playing, training and essentials.

But the worsening situation in Victoria means the Suns-Hawks game in the Northern Territory is set to be canned.

One option is to move the game to Metricon Stadium on the Gold Coast, or postpone the game altogether and give the two teams a bye.

People, pictured here queuing in their cars at a Covid-19 testing station in Melbourne.
People queue in their cars at a Covid-19 testing station in Melbourne. (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)

The AFL is yet to finalise its re-jigged plans for the match.

The AFL was thrown another curve ball when the South Australian government announced it would shut its borders to the greater Melbourne area.

Richmond's match against Adelaide at the MCG has since been moved to Sydney.

With Sydney due to play Carlton at the SCG on Sunday, Giants Stadium looms as the likely option for the relocated match.

"The collective view from our club is we quite enjoyed being away together (in 2020) and we were focused on the job at hand," Tigers assistant coach Adam Kingsley told SEN SA.

"It will pose some challenges to a lot of guys, myself included, but that's unfortunately the industry we're in at the moment.

"We need to take some extreme measures to try and protect it. One of these looks like it could be leaning towards a hub."

with AAP

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