THE AFL'S China experiment is officially off for 2020, with St Kilda's clash against Port Adelaide relocated to Marvel Stadium.
The continued worldwide spread of the coronavirus that originated in China in December has forced the League to change its plans for a fourth annual game at Shanghai's Jiangwan Stadium.
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The Saints-Power round 11 clash – originally scheduled for Sunday, May 31 in Shanghai – will instead be played at Marvel Stadium in round 12 on Sunday, June 7 at 5.40pm AEST.
With Marvel Stadium unavailable on Saturday and Sunday of round 11, both teams will now play a week later and then switch their planned bye weekend from round 12 to 11.
The later twilight slot has been chosen due to the Queen's Birthday public holiday in Victoria and South Australia the following day, allowing greater access for fans.
The only other match on June 7 will be Richmond's date with North Melbourne at the MCG from 2.10pm.
The Victorian State Government has also got involved to support the match with a focus on celebrating Chinese culture in the absence of a match in Shanghai.
Tickets purchased for the match in Shanghai will be refunded.
The Sunday slot was preferred over the option of a Monday match in round 11. There will now be eight matches played in round 11 and seven matches in round 12.
As a result, the Saints will play nine of their first 11 matches at Marvel Stadium and 15 across the entire season.
St Kilda will now attempt to salvage as much money possible lost from the switch. Since 2019, the Saints have received a fee as part of a deal with the Power for selling a home match.
Both clubs will also need to factor in lost business opportunities in the unique Chinese market.
This year's annual Shanghai match was set to be St Kilda's second in a three-year deal. Gold Coast had previously played games in China from 2017-2018.
"Our team have monitored the situation in China closely. We have taken advice from the Australian Government, the World Health Organisation and our Chief Medical Officer," AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said on Wednesday.
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"It is evident that the coronavirus still poses a significant risk internationally and quite simply we will not compromise the health and safety of any of our clubs, supporters and AFL team members.
"I would like to thank both the Australian and Chinese governments, along with the St Kilda and Port Adelaide football clubs for their cooperation and shared view of ensuring the health and safety of all was paramount."
Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas said the Power remained committed to playing in Shanghai in 2021.
The global death toll from the coronavirus was more than 3100 by Wednesday, from a total of almost 93,000 confirmed cases.
Under current travel ban laws, those travelling from China to Australia must spend 14 days in another country before returning.
The Chinese Formula 1 Grand Prix in Shanghai, scheduled for April 17-19, is among a host of events that have been postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus.