PORT Adelaide has escaped a financial penalty from the AFL after a photo emerged of four of its players - without masks - watching the Olympic swimming trials in South Australia.

The photo - which was sent to The Advertiser - showed Zak Butters, Ollie Lord, Dylan Williams and Mitch Georgiades all without masks, surrounded by fans in masks.

While the COVID rules of the event stated that spectators must wear a mask while seated unless they were eating or drinking, it was determined by the AFL - after a discussion with the club - the players had recently finished consuming their food and beverages before returning to their seats.


AFL football boss Steve Hocking said on Friday: "It's a really important reminder, whether it be in the community or you're sitting in the stands at a swimming meet, just remember the care and duty we've got in following government guidelines."

At the start of this month Adelaide was slapped with a massive $50,000 fine from the AFL after its players breached coronavirus rules by not wearing masks on an aeroplane. The money came out of Adelaide's soft cap for next season.

"It doesn't come back to people having poor character or our culture being poor," Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks told reporters at the time.

In a statement released by the AFL, it also acknowledged that the players had attended the event "as members of the public", unlike the Adelaide players who and officials who were under "AFL jurisdiction" when travelling home from a game on a flight and in club uniform.