AFL must respect virus advice: Clarkson

Oliver Caffrey
Hawks coach Alastair Clarkson greets Gilbert McAdam in virus-appropriate style at the MCG

Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson has urged Australians to take the coronavirus pandemic more seriously as the AFL shut downs after one round.

His comments came following the Hawks' 28-point victory over Brisbane on Sunday, with the AFL announcing during the MCG clash that the competition would be suspended until at least June.

Clarkson found out in the third quarter via Hawthorn football boss Graham Wright about the AFL's decision.

They attempted to shield players from the news during the contest, but Clarkson said word had already filtered out by the time he arrived in the rooms post-game.

Clarkson insisted the AFL had to play its part in helping Australia, and the world, tackle the health crisis.

"The most significant thing is, now we've been told that our industry's shut down, we've got to get ourselves isolated as well," he said.

"Probably the thing we need to do as a country, every citizen, is take it really seriously.

"I'm not sure to this point in time (whether Australians have done that), it's probably a little bit of the Aussie way to say 'I'm bulletproof' and 'she'll be right'.

"It was inevitable we (the AFL) were going to get shut down and it was getting closer and closer.

"As disappointed as we are in terms of what's happened with our industry, we've got a much bigger issue here and we need to respect the advice."

Brisbane coach Chris Fagan said his entire club, like everyone, was "dumbfounded" by the coronavirus crisis.

"The harsh reality of the situation the world finds itself in at the moment hit us right between the eyes today," he said.