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ALL STATE competitions around the country have been postponed until the end of May.

VFL clubs had already been informed by League officials on Monday that their respective seasons would be suspended "for the foreseeable future", but the AFL has since confirmed that all SANFL, WAFL, NEAFL and talent programs will also be postponed until May 31.

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The decision comes in the wake of the ongoing global COVID-19 outbreak.

In a statement released on Monday evening, the AFL said: "The decision was collectively agreed upon based on the part-time nature of these competitions and the financial implications for the State League clubs and the State Leagues.

"The AFL will continue to explore all fixturing alternatives to ensure matches are played, however, acknowledges the situation is fluid and any decision made may change."

Richmond VFL coach Craig McRae and captain Steve Morris hold up the 2019 premiership cup. Picture: Getty Images

As reported by AFL.com.au over the weekend, Victorian clubs had started canvassing the idea of withdrawing their involvement from the VFL as early as Saturday as a means of limiting the potential effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on their football departments.

The primary reason for this was due to the belief of clubs that senior-listed AFL players would come into contact with people who are outside of their heavily-controlled and medically-focused work environments when reporting for VFL duties.

AFL.com.au also revealed on Sunday that reigning premiers Richmond had temporarily suspended its VFL involvement and would not train nor play practice matches.

The AFL continues to navigate its next steps in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, with round one at this stage still expected to begin on Thursday night behind closed doors.

SEASON CUT 2020 season reduced to 17 games, call delayed on R1 start

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Footy Feed: COVID-19 crisis update

Damian Barrett and Nat Edwards with an update on season 2020 as the AFL deals with the coronavirus crisis

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