Beveridge queries AFL virus measures

Shayne Hope
Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge has raised concerns over extra conditions on AFL players

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge questioned the AFL's decision to play under compromised conditions after his side's opening-round loss to Collingwood.

The league delivered new protocols this week amid the coronavirus crisis, ordering players to avoid unnecessary contact.

They were advised to cease sharing water bottles, hugging and shaking hands.

Even the 'high-five' was outlawed despite far more contact occurring during the natural course of play.

The Magpies celebrated one of their goals during a 52-point at Marvel Stadium on Friday night with a 'foot shake' and social distancing measures put in place meant they did not link arms during their team song.

Beveridge indicated he was broadly supportive of football continuing at this time, but raised concerns over the logic used in placing those extra conditions on players.

"You can't have your cake and eat it too," Beveridge said.

"If we're playing, we're playing. We can't then be saying don't sing the song with your arms around each other.

"If you're playing, the assumption is that everyone who is playing hasn't got the virus. That's the assumption.

"If you're bumping each other, tackling each other, flying against each other and hitting each other, I reckon that's a lot worse than singing a song with your arms around each other.

"All that peripheral stuff, if we can't do that, then why are we playing the game?"

Beveridge acknowledged there were positive social effects of playing football during the coronavirus crisis.

"Maybe we can bring a bit of brightness into peoples' lives when there's so many things that they've got to consider," he said.

Meanwhile, Beveridge revealed the Bulldogs had been in contact with rival clubs about scheduling scratch matches for players who aren't involved in AFL matches.

With all major state leagues postponed, there is nowhere for players currently outside their clubs' best 22 to find match practice.

The Bulldogs have been involved in talks to play a limited 'reserves' match against Carlton on Friday before their AFL round two meeting, which is scheduled for Saturday.

But talks are on hold as the two clubs wait for the all-clear from the AFL and medical authorities.