The AFL will not enforce a "no jab, no play" policy despite strong opinions to the contrary from federal and state governments.
An AFL spokesperson confirmed on Friday that the league won't make flu vaccinations compulsory for its players, meaning they are free to train and play even if they haven’t received a shot.
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The decision is in stark contrast to rival footy code, the NRL, which has given its players strict vaccination guidelines to adhere to.
It's proved to be a divisive issue in rugby league, with a small percentage of players refusing to have a flu shot due to personal or religious reasons.
The Gold Coast Titans on Friday were forced to stand down three players who had gone against those guidelines in Queensland, by refusing to get a flu shot.
The AFL will recommend that all its players get vaccinated in accordance with widespread medical advice, it won't enforce bans if players refuse to do so.
"While the AFL recommends players and officials to get a yearly flu shot, the decision is ultimately that of the player and club doctor as to whether they wish to do so," an AFL spokesperson said.
The Queensland government has backed Prime Minister Scott Morrison's "no jab, no play" policy, meaning players from Gold Coast and Brisbane may face being stood down if they opt not to have their flu shots.
Gold Coast co-captain David Swallow told media on Friday that players shouldn't be forced to do something they're not comfortable with.
"To be honest I'm not too sure it should be mandatory. Everyone's going to have their different beliefs and opinions on this matter," Swallow said on Friday.
"I don't know if we should be forcing anyone to do anything they wouldn't be comfortable doing. I know others would have a different opinion on that, but that's my opinion."
Crows warned by police, likely to avoid fine
Meantime, the Adelaide Crows will be cautioned by police for breaking South Australia's coronavirus quarantine protocols.
The AFL club appears set to avoid a police fine after a group of players and assistant coach Ben Hart, who were meant to be self-isolating in the Barossa Valley, trained together on Thursday.
But the Crows are braced for a financial penalty from the AFL for breaching the league's protocols which ban training in groups of more than two players.
Sixteen Crows players and assistant coach Hart are at a golf resort in the Barossa Valley to serve a 14-day quarantine period after returning to SA from interstate.
Two groups of eight players trained together on Thursday but the Crows deny they deliberately set out to circumvent AFL coronavirus protocols.
SA Police are investigating whether the Crows broke state rules which ban gatherings of more than 10 people.
The Crows have thrown themselves at the mercy of the AFL by admitting, and apologising, for breaking the league's protocols.
"No-one is out there deliberately trying to flaunt rules," Adelaide's head of football Adam Kelly told SEN SA radio on Friday.
"Quite simply, we have got it wrong and we own our mistake.
"We certainly didn't set out deliberately to break any rules.