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The AFL has confirmed that four more teams are heading to Victoria this afternoon, to try and get ahead of the unfolding COVID-19 outbreak.

  • The Brisbane Lions, Gold Coast Suns, West Coast Eagles and Fremantle Dockers will be on charter flights on Tuesday afternoon
  • There are question marks over the venues for Gold Coast’s game against Richmond and Fremantle’s match with Carlton
  • North Melbourne players and staff have been cleared to return to training after testing negative for COVID-19

The Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast Suns were expected to fly out from Queensland, but the league announced in a statement that they would be joined by West Coast and Fremantle.

AFL executive general manager Travis Auld said the decision to bring clubs to Victoria had been made to manage the “evolving situation” across the country.

“We will continue to remain adaptable as the season progresses in a constantly changing environment,” Mr Auld said. “While COVID-19 continues to impact the community, we will work closely with state governments, health officials, our clubs and players to ensure the best possible outcome for everyone in the game.

“The four teams travelling today will fly to Victoria via charter flights and will be COVID-tested on arrival and isolate until they each receive a negative result.”

The Queensland government has announced a three-day lockdown for the south-east of the state and Townsville from 6:00pm AEST.

Brisbane Lions players were sent home from the club this morning and told to pack their bags and prepare for a potentially lengthy stay in Victoria.


It is the second time the team has had to leave Brisbane in 2021, after the club spent 16 days in Melbourne earlier in the season.

The Lions had been set to play the Adelaide Crows at Adelaide Oval on Saturday, with a round 17 game against St Kilda scheduled at the Gabba, and rounds 18 and 19 at the MCG (Richmond and Hawthorn).

The Suns were scheduled to host Richmond on Thursday night, but reports suggest the game may now be held at Docklands.

Prior to the announcement by the Queensland government, Suns CEO Mark Evans said the option of holding the game at Carrara was now in jeopardy.

“It’s a moving feast. I was on a hook-up with the AFL last night and it was business as usual,” Evans said.

LIVE UPDATES: Read our blog for the latest news on the COVID-19 pandemic

“As of this morning, there are concerns as to whether we should stay or head to Victoria.”

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The Lions were already planning to fly to Melbourne on Wednesday for their game against Adelaide at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday, after South Australia’s decision to close their border to Queensland.

Instead, they’ve brought their travel plans forward by a day in a bid to avoid the situation impacting on the AFL fixture.

Western Australia’s announcement on Monday night of a four-day lockdown was set to create headaches for the AFL, casting further doubt over Fremantle’s clash with Carlton in Perth on Saturday.





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