Six AFL clubs have been impacted by a round five fixture reshuffle forced by fresh Queensland coronavirus protocols that have thrown the season into chaos.
Queensland health officials have issued new directives that will force Brisbane and Gold Coast into 14-day quarantine should they play a Melbourne-based club.
The Lions and Suns would also have to quarantine if they played in Melbourne, and against any team that had been in Melbourne in the preceding 14 days.
The directive has forced the AFL to recast round five scheduling as Victoria’s coronavirus spike continues to worsen, announcing 75 new cases on Monday.
Richmond’s scheduled game against West Coast on the Gold Coast has been postponed.
Instead, Carlton will play St Kilda at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne – a game initially scheduled for Sunday.
Richmond will now play Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday, with the Eagles now to meet Sydney on the Gold Coast on Saturday.
The AFL’s general manager of clubs and broadcasting Travis Auld says more fixturing changes loom beyond this round.
“I want to thank the Queensland government … for their support of the AFL season and for helping us to make the changes this week that are in line with their quarantine requirements related to Covid-19 hotspots,” Auld said in a statement.
“Since the beginning of this Covid-19 pandemic we have said consistently that every decision we make will be anchored in the advice of government and the chief health officers and that we would always rely on their advice.
“We understand the decision of the Queensland government.”
Auld said the AFL would work through the implications for the following rounds before announcing any changes required for rounds six and seven.