The AFL has today advised all VFL and VFLW Clubs that this weekend's scheduled matches will not proceed as planned as a result of the five-day lockdown announced by the Victorian State Government this afternoon.
The health and safety of the community remains the highest priority and we acknowledge the role the VFL and VFLW plays in keeping our community safe.
Outdoor physical recreation and sport will be closed across Victoria during the five-day lockdown which commences from 11.59pm AEST Thursday July 15 and affects all VFL and VFLW matches scheduled for this weekend.
The community sport restrictions apply to the VFL and rebel VFLW competitions in Victoria.
The AFL has made the decision to fixture a VFL competition bye for all clubs this weekend to provide balance and equality in the remaining fixtured games. VFL games will not proceed in Queensland as scheduled.
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The change comes as a particular blow to Carlton forward Charlie Curnow, who was expected to play his first competitive match for more than two years after a series of injury setbacks.
The rebel VFLW Preliminary Final between Essendon and Geelong will be postponed on Saturday with implications on the 2021 rebel VFLW Grand Final to be worked through and further details confirmed shortly. The AFL is committed to working through the final two games and awarding a 2021 rebel VFLW Premier.
With both professional and grassroots sports cancelled this weekend, the TAC and AFL Victoria Road Safety Round has been postponed. When sport is back, we'll band together for safer roads.
The fixture will continue to be a week-by-week proposition and the AFL will continue to work with the Victorian Government and Health Officials on finding solutions for these competitions.
The AFL has prepared for this situation and has worked through this challenge before. The inclusion of byes for all VFL clubs provides flexibility with the fixture and allows for adjustments to be made to play the remaining games.
The AFL will continue to meet with all parties and review this decision based on the changing circumstances and advice from government and relevant health departments and medical experts. We will communicate any updates and provide advice in a timely manner.
The AFL would like to thank the VFL and VFLW communities, each club, players and families and all football fans for their continued patience and understanding as we continue to navigate through this pandemic together.
We acknowledge this remains a complicated and rapidly evolving situation but as a football industry we will band together to support each other. This is a reminder that we are all part of a broader society with a responsibility to make sure our community remains safe.