ADELAIDE and Port Adelaide will not field SANFL sides in 2020 following an AFL ruling that will keep senior-listed players from participating in second-tier competitions in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The League confirmed a blanket ban for AFL-listed players competing in state league competitions on Tuesday, having implemented a number of strict medical protocols to ensure the campaign can resume safely following the suspension of competition.
It has forced Adelaide and Port Adelaide to withdraw their teams from the SANFL competition this year, while West Coast has also pulled its standalone reserves side from the WAFL.
There is not yet confirmation as to the ramifications on the clubs participating in the VFL and NEAFL seasons, as well as Fremantle’s WAFL affiliate Peel Thunder.
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"This decision is understandable given the AFL protocols are aimed at ensuring the return of elite-level matches, but it is nonetheless a disappointing outcome for all of our players, coaches and staff," Crows football boss Adam Kelly said.
"We will certainly miss being a part of the state league in 2020 and we will turn our attention to how we can best support our players without the benefit of match play."
Power chief executive Keith Thomas also released a statement, saying: "It is very disappointing to not have Port Adelaide participate in the SANFL competition this season, especially given it is our 150th anniversary.
"We are a foundation club of the SANFL and proud of this heritage. We look forward to continuing that legacy in the SANFL in 2021.
"However, the AFL have made it clear that for health and safety reasons we need to restrict the number of people our players interact with and competing in another competition opens that up significantly.
"We respect that view and completely support the need to protect our players from transmission of COVID-19. It is unfortunate, but it’s a necessary measure to protect our people."