18/03/2020 - 17:01

AFL confirms Round 1

18/03/2020 - 17:01

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AFL boss Gillon McLachlan has announced the league will proceed with Round 1 as planned, with the first match to be played between Richmond and Carlton at the MCG tomorrow night.

AFL confirms Round 1
Gillon McLachlan says players are well placed to bear the proportionate risk to play contact sport. Photo: AFL

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan has announced the league will proceed with Round 1 as planned, with the first match to be played between Richmond and Carlton at the MCG tomorrow night.

Mr McLachlan said, however, the games would have shorter 16-minute quarters.

The announcement follows wide speculation the league would be postponed over ongoing concerns surrounding COVID-19.

“We start tomorrow night confident, after conversations with the Chief Medical Officer, that our players are well placed to bear the proportionate risk to play contact sport,” he told reporters at a press conference this afternoon.

Mr McLachlan said AFLW would also proceed, but would forgo the final two weeks of the home-and-away season.

He said the AFL would monitor the situation around COVID-19.

“(We will) continue to make the best decisions for our industry of balancing wellbeing, welfare, leadership and economic and social impacts,” he said.

“Tonight our industry is unified in making a decision to start. The reality is, this season will not look like any other.”

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