Being in quarantine on the Gold Coast may sound like paradise for some, but the AFL has been at pains to stress that it is not a holiday for players and their families.
This week, the AFL has faced a number of headaches around the Queensland hubs, with players' wives and girlfriends (WAGs) warned about the use of social media or any activities that could put the season at risk.
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The AFL was forced to clarify the rules for families staying with players in the league’s quarantine hubs, after a visit with grandparents sparked concerns of a potential breach.
According to reports, a ‘well-intentioned’ visit with one family’s grandparents, during which the children were taken to two Gold Coast theme parks, prompted the AFL to ‘draw a line in the sand’.
Families have been asked by the AFL to abide by the same strict rules being followed by players, which are akin to the stage three lockdown restrictions currently in place in Melbourne and earlier in the year.
The message seems to be taking a while to sink in, with Channel Seven's Tom Browne reporting that the AFL fielded a request for a puppy to join one of the families in their Queensland hub.
Browne said the AFL "couldn't believe" that someone within the hubs - believed to be a WAG - thought it would be OK to relocate a puppy from Victoria.
“Understand a puppy request, was a final precursor for the AFL issuing a hub directive Monday,” Browne revealed on Twitter.
“Someone made inquiries about bringing a puppy up to Queensland!”
An outlier. But understand a puppy request, was a final precursor for the AFL issuing a hub directive Monday. Someone made inquiries about bringing a puppy up to Queensland!— Tom Browne (@TomBrowne7) July 28, 2020
AFL teams have relocated to Queensland due to concerning virus outbreaks in Victoria and NSW, and the league is paying for the players’ families to join them in hubs.
About 400 family members were heading to the Gold Coast this week to be with the players, but the AFL was forced to hold a call with club CEOs on Monday to remind them they aren’t going for a holiday.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan was reportedly concerned about a number of social media posts from players’ family members in recent days.
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Veteran journalist Caroline Wilson called on the wives and girlfriends of AFL players to have some common sense after reports of “bad behaviour” and complaints about the Queensland quarantine hubs.
“There is a growing concern emerging at the northern hubs. Dare we say it, even the suggestion of some bad behaviour,” Wilson said on Footy Classified on Monday night.
“Some of the partners and families of AFL players are emerging from quarantine and trying to live their AFL-sponsored Queensland lives in a manner which could place the entire season at risk.
“May we suggest or remind you of the enormous leap of faith the Queensland government has shown, letting so many Victorians into the state as a humanitarian move to help the AFL.
“Just because you can’t meet a friend in a cafe or go to Wet’ n’Wild or go for a wander along the beach or stay on the beach all day.
“You can still swim in the surf, you can still sit around the pool. Meet a group of friends or family at a jumping castle, even wander along a coastal path. You’re doing a lot more now than we can do in Victoria.
“It is a privilege you are there, not a right. Some partners are even upset because the AFL have told them they can’t go to the footy, not understanding the hugely logistical issues this could cause for the AFL.
“It might be tough for you up there, but it’s a lot tougher down here (in Victoria).”
The AFL is reportedly putting up the players’ families at a cost of around $3 million.