As a fourth club is linked to an AFL investigation into Covid-19 protocol breaches, focus has turned to a document sent out to families and partners by the league.
Plus Eddie McGuire has suggested a far more authoritarian approach be taken by the league when faced with transgressors.
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AFL’S HUB HANDBOOK IN SPOTLIGHT AFTER ALLEGED BREACHES
As the AFL continues to investigate up to four clubs for alleged breaches of its Covid-19 protocols in Queensland, focus has centred on a league document that was sent to families and partners who are self-isolating in Queensland ahead of joining players in hubs.
With breaches being investigated, Foxfooty.com.au reported three alleged breaches related to visiting a day spa, attending a football game and dropping children off at their grandparents’ house before later learning they had been taken to a theme park.
Speaking on Triple M’s Hot Breakfast, AFL reporter Tom Browne drew attention to the document, titled ‘AFL High Performance Centre Family Induction Information’, that was sent to partners and families.
“The foreword is written by Gill McLachlan, it provides an overview of what the HPC (High Performance Centre) is,” Browne said.
“It’s a hotel or resort solely dedicated for the AFL to enable the control of external people entering the facility that includes accommodation, training and the grounds.
“It’s an environment designed to support the wellbeing of players, but this is the interesting bit: what a HPC is not.
“It’s not a family holiday experience with the ability to move freely in the community, it’s not an environment that replicates your normal home living arrangement, and it’s not the same liberties afforded to local communities as part of the state’s current covid restrictions even once — it says in big red letters — once the initial 14 day quarantine day has concluded, strict adherence to the protocols is required akin to stage three government restrictions.”
FOURTH CLUB LINKED TO AFL BREACH
A fourth club could reportedly becoming involved in the AFL’s investigation into alleged breaches of the league’s Covid-19 protocols in Queensland.
Foxfooty.com.au yesterday reported Richmond, North Melbourne and Carlton were being investigated by the AFL integrity unit for family members of players allegedly breaching restrictions.
Both Richmond and Carlton are expected to cop fines of up to $50,000 but North Melbourne may escape a sanction that severe.
A report in The Age reveals a fourth club could now be involved, but did not name the club.
Three of the alleged breaches included:
— Richmond’s breach relates to a player’s partner who visited a day spa.
— North Melbourne’s alleged breach concerns a group of partners that attended a football game.
— And Carlton’s involves kids of a player who were dropped off at their grandparents’ house. When the player’s partner picked the kids up later, she was shocked to learn that they’d been at a theme park, which is a clear breach of AFL protocols.
EDDIE CALLS FOR AFL TO PUT ITS FOOT DOWN
Collingwood president Eddie McGuire has called for the AFL to put any further transgressors of its Covid-19 protocols “on the plane home” to send a clear message to families of players.
Approximately 400 families have begun a two-week quarantine period in Queensland before they’ll be allowed to reunite with players, coaches and staff.
After three clubs and a potential fourth were at the centre of an AFL investigation into protocol breaches from family members, McGuire said the AFL should consider harsher penalties moving forward to make it abundantly clear what can and can’t be done.
“Lets be honest, I think what needs to happen … do you think the AFL will just come out and say ‘right, here’s what it is and if you do this you’re all clear and if you do that you’re in big trouble and if anybody transgresses you’re on the plane home, we’re not gonna cop this stuff’,” he said on Triple M’s Hot Breakfast.
“I think that’s where it’s gotta be, it’s just gotta be so clear cut that no one can have any mitigation.
“Every time somebody does something in this country … ‘I thought I could do this, I thought I could do that’, well you can’t, bang.”
When it was put to him that one breach was for travelling to a nail salon which would be allowed in ordinary circumstances, McGuire replied: “Ordinary circumstances you haven’t got the entire AFL in a bunker and the season on the precipice.”