SA's AFL clubs face batch of away games

Steve Larkin

South Australia's two AFL clubs could be given dispensation to avoid quarantine periods as they face the prospect of playing away games only when the season resumes.

SA Premier Steven Marshall is not yet willing to open his state's borders amid the coronavirus pandemic, meaning non-SA AFL clubs won't be able to enter to play games.

Marshall says if current infection rates continue outside of SA "we would be very unlikely to welcome players from interstate into Adelaide".

"Therefore it makes it much more likely that in the early rounds of the season that our games from South Australia would be away games, or we would be operating out of a hub," Marshall said.

"My personal preference is for us to be essentially operating in a modified fly-in, fly-out model with South Australian teams based here and flying out for games."

SA has recorded no new coronavirus cases in the past 14 days but Marshall's stance means Port Adelaide and Adelaide could be forced to play games interstate in the early phase of resumption.

The government and AFL are in talks to consider permitting both clubs to avoid being placed under 14-day isolation on return to their home state.

Adelaide chief executive Andrew Fagan said his club remained open-minded as to scenarios that would facilitate the return of AFL games.

The competition was suspended after round one, with a timetable for a resumption expected next week from AFL hierarchy.

"Our wish will always be to play games under a traditional home-and-away format, which includes hosting opposition teams at Adelaide Oval," Fagan said.

"And in a perfect world with our members and fans in attendance to cheer us on.

"However in these unprecedented times, we will always heed the advice and direction of medical experts and acknowledge that we must put the health and wellbeing of the community first and foremost.

"With this in mind, our club is open-minded and willing to be flexible to ensure the return of football as soon as possible.

"We are also aware of ongoing discussions between the AFL and state government, albeit our club is not directly involved."