AFL limits media interaction with players

Anna Harrington
The AFL will limit media access to male and female players a bid to combat coronavirus

The AFL has taken steps to limit close interactions between players and the media amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

The updated media and broadcast policy was released on Thursday afternoon and will be implemented immediately for both the AFL and AFLW, with conditions applying both on match days and during the week.

"The development of this policy, enforced for both AFL and AFLW, is to ensure the game continues to generate media content for fans in the most controlled environment possible, and to ensure the safety all everyone involved in the game," the AFL said in a statement.

On match day, there will be no media access - apart from TV broadcasters and one AFL social media team member - to change rooms before and after the match.

Post-match, the winning and losing teams will be required to put up three players, then their senior coach, to media in the stadium press conference room.

No print or digital journalists, or radio partners, will have access to the change rooms.

Radio interviews will be conducted via mobile phone, as will any additional interviews with print journalists. Players and club staff are no longer permitted to access radio boxes, or use generic radio equipment.

During the week, clubs are still required to host media conferences with their senior coach and at least one player put up for media each week.

The media conferences must be held at that football club and cannot be at the airport or an external location, while there will be a minimum two-metre space between the media and the player, coach or football department member involved.

In-studio radio and TV interviews will be at the clubs' discretion, with external crosses encouraged, while most radio and mid-week print/digital interviews will be conducted over the phone.

The policy also encouraged journalists to limit "door-stop" interviews.