AFL clash postponed due to COVID-19 outbreak

Hawthorn’s Round 11 clash against the Gold Coast Suns has been postponed due to Melbourne’s COVID-19 outbreak.

The match was originally scheduled to be played in Darwin at 7:40 pm AEST on Saturday, but was scrapped after Hawthorn were unable to depart for the Northern Territory on Wednesday.

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Both Hawthorn and the Gold Coast Suns will have a bye in Round 11, with the potential for the match to be played in Round 12, when the two sides were originally scheduled to have their respective bye rounds.

According to veteran AFL reporter, all 18 clubs have been told that a return to hubs similar to last season could be on the cards.

“Gillon McLachlan’s team held a hook-up with all 18 club chiefs today,” Wilson told Nine News Melbourne.

“They were told that hubs could be back on the horizon, certainly chartered flights.

“Every club has been told to expect some flexibility over the next few weeks due to the bye rounds and they’ve been told to expect that their byes aren’t going to necessarily fall when they thought they were going to fall.”

While last seasons saw hubs set up in Queensland for months on end, Wilson indicated that clubs were more likely to be sent to short-term hubs this year.

“It’s all up in the air depending on which states are hit by this really frightening Indian strain of coronavirus,” she said.

“At this stage, it’s going to be short-term hubs and clubs who are finding themselves in states and not being able to get back remaining in those states.”

While Hawthorn was not able to leave Victoria as originally planned, both Essendon and Carlton successfully departed to Perth and Sydney, respectively.

According to Wilson, the Adelaide Crows’ clash against Richmond, currently scheduled to be played at 1:10 pm on Sunday at the MCG is no certainty to take place.

Adelaide’s travelling party will now require a government exemption to travel to Victoria after South Australia closed its borders to Greater Melbourne from 6pm on Wednesday.

At this stage, the AFL’s other seven fixtures are expected to take place as originally scheduled.

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