'Shane Warne would have retired': AFL players hit with sex ban

Chris Young
Sports Reporter
The AFL has cautioned players against engaging in frequent casual sex as part of their return to play protocols. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

AFL players have been warned not to engage in consistent casual sex as part of the league’s coronavirus return to play plan.

One-night stands are not prohibited, but players have been told a series of hook-ups is off the table - lest they incur a heavy penalty.

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The league released a 40-page briefing document which outlines the expectations of players as the AFL looks to restart play, including a provision in which players are told they may only see ‘a person they are in an intimate relationship with.’.

How the AFL will enforce this aspect of their return to play plan hasn’t been made immediately obvious.

The document was widely criticised after it was made public, with former Port Adelaide player Kane Cornes labelling it ‘comical’ and Today show host Karl Stefanovic also taking a tongue-in-cheek jab at the policy.

Players are also not allowed to high-five while on the ground, balls will be sanitised after each goal is kicked, and players must sit 1.5m apart on the bench, among other restrictions.

"These players are asked to go out there and smash each other, to sweat over each other, to tackle each other," Cornes told Footy Classified.

"We're asking so much of our players in their day-to-day lives, that in the heat of battle and the heat of the moment you're asking a player who kicks an amazing goal not to high-five their teammates.

“Do you think he's going to be thinking about that?

"We're going to have dobbers on social media taking screenshots of players saying, 'There's a high-five' or 'He's sitting 30cm too close to his mate on the bench'.

"It is a joke. People are not stupid, they understand that players are going to be next to each other sweating, bumping and tackling, you can't put those restrictions on them."

AFL ‘sex ban’ widely mocked after reveal

Numerous other sporting figures chimed in on the AFL’s protocols after they were released on Monday night.

Former Australian Test captain Michael Clarke quipped that Shane Warne ‘would have retired’ when discussing the document Big Sports Breakfast, while Today show host Karl Stefanovic was somewhat more sympathetic to the players.

“Stay strong, fellas,” Stefanovic said, cracking up on-air.

“I feel a little bit sorry for them.

“They’ve been locked away for 17 weeks and they come back and play footy and what are they supposed to do?”