'Out of control': Waleed Aly weighs in on AFL quarantine debate

Chris Young
Sports Reporter
TV host and political commentator Waleed Aly has weighed in on West Coast's concern over the AFL's quarantine hubs. Picture: ABC/Offsiders

TV host and political commentator Waleed Aly has taken a shot at the West Coast Eagles over their grumblings about the logistics of the AFL’s hub system.

The Eagles, and coach Adam Simpson, have been vocal about their desire to return back home from the Queensland competition hub as soon as possible, due to the ongoing hard border closure in WA.

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Both the Eagles and Fremantle Dockers are due to return to WA after round five, but the WA stave government has since indicated they would be required to enter quarantine for two weeks upon their return.

Simpson says the AFL needs to draw the line somewhere and that having players return home from a five-week stay in Queensland, only to have to quarantine in hotels upon their return, was unreasonable.

“Our position is if we can’t quarantine in our own houses when we get back and (are required to) stay in a hotel for another two weeks, we need to get home after Richmond,” Simpson said on Friday.

“I mean to play another two or three games here and then go back to Perth and sit in a hotel for another two weeks, it’s probably a bridge too far.

“There needs to be a line in the sand at some stage. We just haven’t been informed at the moment about return dates.”

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But discussing the issue on ABC sports program Offsiders, Aly said Simpson was wrong to make this an AFL issue, instead arguing both Western Australian teams should instead be lobbying the state government.

“They have a point, but they have no argument because their argument is with the West Australian Government, not with the AFL,” Aly argued.

“They can make all these complaints and they can be as well thought through as they are, that’s all fine, and the AFL can say, ‘We will do our very best’, but unless the AFL somehow wins an election in WA and starts re-writing the laws and protocols that are in place in that state, there is simply nothing they can do about it.

“Other than introduce a bye of some sorts, (they could) bring some teams into WA that quarantine for a couple of weeks, have another mini hub in WA.

“They might end up doing something like that, but that is not sustainable over a long period of time, unless you say the WA teams can stay in Perth all year.

“This is out of the control of sports administrators.”