Queensland premier Anastasia Palaszczuk has engaged in a cheeky war of words with the West Australian newspaper over the location of the AFL grand final.
The league’s 10 Victorian teams have relocated to Queensland as the AFL seeks to continue the season in spite of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Melbourne, which has seen the state capital return to stage three lockdown restrictions in a bid to curtail the spread.
‘DISASTER’: Eddie McGuire's shock call on AFL season
Announcing the Victorian teams’ approval to enter Queensland, Ms Palaszczuk joked that she had suggested to AFL boss Gillon McLachlan that part of the deal should be her state hosting the grand final.
This prompted the West Australian to run the headline ‘WA footy faces the ultimate east coast bias...SURE, LET’S GIVE THE AFL GRAND FINAL TO NRL STATE’.
The AFL grand final has traditionally been held at the MCG, but the COVID-19 pandemic appears likely the force an unprecedented change of venue.
The cheeky headline didn’t escape the attention of the Queensland premier, who quickly pointed out her state should be able to hold such a match since State of Origin matches had previously been hosted there as well.
“Western Australia appears upset with the idea of the @AFL Grand Final being played in a so-called NRL state,” she posted on Twitter.
“But if they can host a State of Origin, I think it’s only fair we host an AFL Grand Final!
“It’s because of Queensland’s strong health response and the strict COVID-safe plans in place that we can host the AFL and continue our plan for economic recovery.”
Ms Palaszczuk also tagged WA counterpart Mark McGowan in her Tweet - but no response has been forthcoming.
AFL prepares to continue season
AFL games are likely to be played in Cairns, Darwin and Tasmania this year after the league's decision to relocate all Victorian teams to Queensland.
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.
Victoria's 10 clubs will be based in Queensland for up to 10 weeks, but they will be able to fly in and out of the state under special exemptions.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan confirmed the league was looking at other venues to lessen the load on south-east Queensland's two grounds.
Four games were played at Metricon Stadium last weekend while the Gabba hosted two.
"It's possible we play in north Queensland, Cairns," McLachlan said.
"It doesn't rule out us playing games from Queensland in the Northern Territory or Tasmania.
"We will continue to have conversations with those governments."