(Australian Associated Press)
No AFL games will be played in Victoria this weekend because of Melbourne’s COVID-19 outbreak, with the league hopeful it will be only a one-week hiatus.
Plans for round 12 were announced on Tuesday night, with a series of venue changes also confirmed.
Friday night’s blockbuster between Melbourne and Brisbane that was meant to be played in Alice Springs has now been moved to Giants Stadium in NSW.
Carlton, Richmond and the Western Bulldogs will all spend the week training in NSW.
Richmond will then fly to Western Australia on Friday ahead of their Dreamtime clash with Essendon the following day, while the Western Bulldogs fly to Perth on Saturday ahead of their match against Fremantle on Sunday.
Essendon, who beat West Coast at Optus Stadium last Saturday, will remain in Western Australia for the week.
St Kilda’s match against Sydney Swans on Saturday, which was previously scheduled for Marvel Stadium, will now be played at the SCG.
The Swans and St Kilda will swap home game rights to the round 21 return match, much like what Fremantle and Brisbane did earlier this season during Perth’s COVID-19 scare.
Arrangements for the Adelaide versus Collingwood match, currently fixtured for Saturday at Adelaide Oval, are currently being worked through.
Collingwood will need to get an exemption from the SA government in order for the game to go ahead at Adelaide Oval.
Carlton will remain in NSW and play the West Coast Eagles at the SCG on Sunday. That match was previously scheduled for the MCG.
Geelong Cats, Gold Cost, GWS, Hawthorn, North Melbourne and Port Adelaide all have the bye.
“The update to the Round 12 fixture has been designed to best accommodate the current border restrictions in place in regards to Victoria while also keeping an eye on the coming weeks of the fixture,” AFL general manager of broadcasting Travis Auld said.
“The reality of the current situation in the community means the fixture will become a week-by-week proposition for the short-term.
“Although we won’t have matches in Victoria this weekend, we are hopeful to get footy back in Melbourne for Round 13 and the Queen’s Birthday match at the MCG, a proposition we will continue to monitor and work with the Victorian State Government on how that plays out.
“The last few days has been a challenge for everyone, but as always, our clubs, players, umpires, venues and broadcast partners have been open-minded and accommodating on the next steps needed to keep the season going.”