The AFL season has been postponed until at least the end of May according to news reports.
This follows PM Scott Morrison’s advice against non-essential travel and the announcement of South Australian Premier Steven Marshall that that state’s borders are to be closed.
In a phone hook-up of club officials, the AFL said no matches would be played before June, but it is known that that timeframe could be significantly pushed back.
Today’s Hawthorn-Brisbane and West Coast-Melbourne games will be the last until at least May 31.
CEO Gillon McLachlan said the advice, including from government, was to commence the season this week, but circumstances have now changed.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The AFL plans to resume all games later and play until as late as necessary this year.
A Seven spokesperson said, “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.”
The AFLW season has also been cancelled, with no premiership to be awarded.
This post updates.