AFL’s 2020 season is postponed, Seven ‘disappointed’ but says it supports the decision

The future of the Australian Football League’s (AFL) 2020 season is in question with AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan announcing an immediate suspension due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Seven, the free-to-air (FTA) broadcast partner of the AFL, said that while it is disappointed, it supports the decision.

The 2020 AFL season has been postponed till the end of May, with that date to be reviewed as and when new information is provided

“We fully support the decision of the AFL to suspend the season, in the interest of player and community health and safety. While we’re as disappointed as anyone else, we’ll work with the AFL and our partners to understand best next steps,” said a spokesperson for the network.

Games have currently been suspended until May 31st, 2020.

The AFLW semi-final between Carlton and the Brisbane Lions was the last AFL women’s match to be played, with the season ending today. A premiership will not be awarded for the 2020 AFLW season.

McLachlan said the worsening situation in the community and the decision by various State Governments to close their borders meant it was time for the AFL to immediately stop the competitions.

Training will be suspended while the organisation works with players to plan the future of the competition. The resumption time will be reviewed closer to May depending on the medical advice and Government regulations in place at the time.

“Our industry provides livelihoods for thousands and thousands of people but our key focus at the moment – like every organisation in the country – is to do everything that needs to be done to help slow the spread of this virus and to keep people as healthy as possible,” said McLachlan.

“To say this is the most serious threat to our game in 100 years is an understatement. It is unprecedented in its impact. It is unprecedented in the impact it is having on our game and the wider community, and as a community and as a code, we all need to take the unprecedented and required actions to get through this together.

“I know that everyone involved in our game and our millions of supporters will be impacted by this decision and that many people will suffer significant hardship as are people right across the community but I also know that we all have a responsibility to the community and each other. And we have the will to work collectively to overcome this crisis.

McLachlan said the current plan was to play all remaining 144 games and finals in 2020.

As of yet, the National Rugby League (NRL) has not suspended its season. Nine is the broadcast partner of the NRL. Foxtel and its sports streaming platform Kayo also broadcast both the AFL and the NRL. A Foxtel spokesperson told Mumbrella the decision was still unfolding.

“The decisions by AFL and implications of the government measures announced today for other sporting codes is a rapidly unfolding situation and it’s too early to comment,” said the spokesperson.


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