The AFL has been forced to clarify the rules for families staying with players in the league’s quarantine hub, after a visit with grandparents sparked concerns of a potential breach.
According to Channel 7 reporter Tom Browne, a ‘well-intentioned’ visit with one family’s grandparents, during which the children were taken to two Gold Coast theme parks, has prompted the AFL to ‘draw a line in the sand’.
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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.
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire shed more light on the situation on Tuesday morning, saying on Triple M that there was ‘no malice involved’.
“One of the issues that has happened...is that a player’s wife, who had family up there decided to just let the kids go and stay with the grandparents just for the afternoon,” McGuire said.
“But the grandparents took them down to Sea World or Movie World or something like that, it’s just one of those one degree of separation goes further out, no one thinks anything of it, there’s no malice involved.
“But I understand that has caused a major drama up amongst the hubs there because the kids went with grandma and grandpa off to the theme park and then when they were picked up later in the afternoon the mum said ‘oh no, you shouldn’t have done that.’”
Further to my report, appears AFL concerned about example where grandparents on coast planned to take grandkids to theme park. Not necessarily a breach. Everyone doing their best. Well intentioned. But AFL issued very clear clarification to senior club officials yesterday. https://t.co/pYnr6DBrwc— Tom Browne (@TomBrowne7) July 27, 2020
McGuire said it was an honest mistake, but one that nonetheless could not be excused with so much at stake.
“I think we need the rules really stipulated,” he said.
“As we know, everyone’s got a good excuse always for these things and sometimes it absolutely is and sometimes it’s a mistake, but we just can’t afford to have them.”
AFL draw ‘line in the sand’ after potential hub breach
Browne said the incident, while relatively minor, had nonetheless prompted the AFL to issue a stern reminder to families staying in the hub that their time in Queensland was not ‘a holiday’.
“The AFL can’t afford any COVID protocol trip ups and issued a warning in a phone call to senior club officials this afternoon, the essence of the message: This is not a holiday,” he said.
“The AFL is effectively here under a government licence to play football, the rules that apply to the players apply to the wives, girlfriends and families.
“The AFL has warned to be cautious about the use of social media, even after 14 days quarantine the families can’t sit and sunbake on the beach, they can only exercise on the beach.”
Browne also said the AFL had been made aware of two social media posts which had ‘raised eyebrows’, with the league cautioning players and families against posting too many details about life in the hubs.