AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan wasn’t joking when he said the footy fixture could change daily.
Tuesday’s decision by the South Australian Government not to open its borders to Victoria as originally scheduled on July 20 is the latest spanner to be thrown into the season.
The league had tentative plans for SA clubs Adelaide and Port Adelaide to return home for longish stints after they follow month-long stays in Queensland with round seven matches in Melbourne.
But whether this can still be achieved is now in doubt given the difficulty in bringing teams to SA in and out of Victoria.
SA premier Steven Marshall made the announcement on Tuesday, saying his state was “not in a position” to remove its hard border with Victoria. NSW and the ACT will still be considered, he said.
It comes after three games scheduled for this weekend had to be changed following a decision by the Queensland Government to force 14-day quarantine periods on anyone entering its borders from Victoria.
The Queenslanders didn’t want Richmond coming to town to play West Coast on the Gold Coast on Thursday night.
So the Tigers will stay in Melbourne and play the Demons, who were scheduled to play Sydney.
The Swans will instead travel to Queensland to play the Eagles, who have been located in the Sunshine State for the past few weeks.
Carlton’s clash against St Kilda was also shifted, to the prime time Thursday night slot, giving both teams just five days to recover from their Saturday matches in round four.
ROUND FIVE — NEW SCHEDULE
Thursday, July 2
Carlton v St Kilda at Marvel Stadium, Victoria — 7.40pm
Saturday, July 4
West Coast Eagles v Sydney Swans at Metricon Stadium, Queensland — 1.45pm
Sunday, July 5
Melbourne v Richmond at MCG, Victoria — 3.35pm