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FANS could be locked out games all season as the AFL comes to grips with the coronavirus crisis.
Less than 24 hours before the round one opener between Richmond and Carlton, the League announced on Wednesday night it would be progressing with the scheduled fixture after mammoth meetings involving the AFL Commission.
But with supporters already unable to attend games indefinitely, the AFL has forecast that could extend throughout the newly shaped 17-round season.
CEO Gillon McLachlan forecast the chance of fans being unable to see their teams live as Government regulations clamp down on mass gatherings.
"It depends how this plays out, but it feels that's a possibility, isn't it?" he said.
"I think it's going to be a long year and our players and our industry wants to get moving.
"While the advice is so clear that it's appropriate for them to they play, we want to get started. And they know this is going to be a long journey in what is an unprecedented time."
The AFL plans to halt its season if a player tests positive to COVID-19, with a 14-day quarantine period to follow the diagnosis.
The Government has put a ban on any non-essential gatherings of more than 100 people to stop the spread of the illness, but the League said it would ensure it would meet the parameters to include officials and players at Marvel Stadium.
"We've worked through that. There's two club rooms, and everyone's separated into two club rooms and we've been through it and are comfortable it fits the protocols," he said.
The League will work on fixture options for round two and beyond in the next 48 hours, with the hope of a condensed group of games at the start of the season.