The AFL has this week reminded Clubs of the importance of the Return to Play protocols as additional club officials and player families arrive in Queensland from Victoria, along with Sydney Swans and GWS GIANTS temporarily relocating to Brisbane prior to their Rounds 9 and 10 matches.

The AFL also formally communicated the sanction guidelines for AFL protocol breaches by Club people from 31 July 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to be a challenge amongst the wider community.
 
AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillion said everyone has a role to play in keeping community safe during these times.
 
“Our primary focus, like everyone around the country, is to play our role in continuing to keep safe the communities in which we play. We know it is a privilege to be able to continue our competition which provides jobs for thousands of people around the country, and joy to millions of fans.” Mr Dillon said.
 
“The protocols are in place to not only protect players, officials, staff, and now their visiting families, but also the wider community in which we have been given the opportunity to train and play.
 
“We all have to modify our behaviours in order for the competition to continue in a safe manner.” 
 
SANCTION GUIDELINES FOR AFL PROTOCOL BREACHES BY CLUB PEOPLE
 
The Sanction Guidelines for AFL Protocol Breaches by Club People (as defined below) will form part of the AFL Rules.
 
Breaches of AFL Return to Play (RTP) Protocols by Players will be dealt with between the AFL, relevant Club and the AFLPA, as has been happening. 
 
Club People will include:
·         Club Staff
·         Players’ partners and family members
·         Club Staff partners and family members
·         Players (in addition to the individual liability of the Player set out above)

Clubs will be strictly responsible and liable to sanction in the event of any breaches of the RTP Protocols by Club People, save for the most exceptional extenuating circumstances.
 
This strict regime is important for the AFL and the AFL Clubs to protect the health and safety of the community and to maintain the AFL’s social licence to continue the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.  
 
From 31 July 2020,  Sanctions for Clubs for breaches of the RTP Protocols by Club People:
 
FIRST OFFENCE - up to $50,000 sanction (50% suspended) - $25,000 included in 2020 Soft Cap
 
SECOND OFFENCE – up to $75,000 sanction (plus $25,000 from first offence) - $100,000 included in 2020 Soft cap
 
THIRD & SUBSEQUENT OFFENCE – The Commission or the General Counsel may impose any sanction on any terms or conditions that they in their absolute discretion think fit which may include a monetary sanction, loss of Premiership points or loss of Draft picks.
 
BREACH NOTICES
The AFL confirms that four clubs have been sanctioned for non-adherence to the RTP Protocols over the last 7 days.

Hawthorn has received and accepted a $50,000 fine ($25,000 suspended for the remainder of 2020 AFL Season).

Carlton, North Melbourne and Richmond have all received and accepted $45,000 fine ($25,000 suspended for the remainder of 2020 AFL Season).

In order to protect the well-being of the club people, the details of these breaches will remain between club and the AFL. 

The AFL will be making no further comment in relation to the sanctions.