AFL players to be kicked out of WA and fined $50,000 if they breach Perth hub quarantine rules

Australia Health World

WA Premier Mark McGowan has warned players from interstate teams will be kicked out of the state if they breach quarantine conditions while participating in an AFL hub in Perth.

A number of AFL players, including Collingwood’s Steele Sidebottom, have found themselves at the centre of recent breaches of AFL coronavirus protocols.

Mr McGowan said anyone breaching WA’s quarantine conditions when games begin at Perth Stadium in just over a fortnight would also face prosecution and a $50,000 fine.

Perth stadium lit up at night

Perth stadium lit up at night

AFL games will return to Perth Stadium in just over a fortnight.(Supplied: Roderick Eime/Flickr)

“Football players are not immune, they’re not exempt. They shouldn’t think they’re above the law, and we need to make sure that the AFL and the clubs understand that,” he said.

“Our arrangements would obviously be far stricter than Queensland has done, and we expect it would work effectively to quarantine the players and protect the state.

“If anyone breaches, obviously my view is they would be punted from Western Australia as soon as they do.”

Hub launch two weeks away

The first game in the WA hub will be a Friday night clash between Geelong and Collingwood on July 17, followed by a western derby between the Eagles and Dockers two days later.

Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield marks a football on his chest ahead of Collingwood's Scott Pendlebury.

Geelong's Patrick Dangerfield marks a football on his chest ahead of Collingwood's Scott Pendlebury.

Collingwood and Geelong will move to WA for the AFL’s Perth hub and will clash in the first game.(AAP: Michael Dodge)

All players and staff will be required to remain under quarantine conditions for the first two weeks that they are in WA, with interstate teams only allowed to play each other during that time.

The interstate clubs will be required to stay at hotels in a hub environment while they comply with the strict quarantine conditions set by state authorities for 14 days.

The two WA teams returning from the Queensland hub will be allowed to quarantine at home.

The Cats and the Magpies are the only interstate sides confirmed to be taking part in the Perth hub at this stage, but it is likely other clubs will be involved.

The families of interstate players who travel with the clubs will also be required to quarantine.

Police to ‘rigorously’ enforce quarantine

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said his ongoing deliberations with the AFL included discussions about any players or staff who might be living in Melbourne suburbs under lockdown.

The WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, in uniform and hat, speaks at a media conference in Perth

The WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, in uniform and hat, speaks at a media conference in Perth

WA Police Commissioner Chris Dawson has been holding talks with the AFL about the hub plans.(ABC News: James Carmody)

But he said regardless of the final decisions, anyone entering WA would be closely managed to avoid the risk of spreading coronavirus.

“The position of Western Australia is there will be no compromise that would put any person at risk of catching COVID-19,” he said.

“We’ve put a number of questions to the AFL, I know it’s a moving feast for them, quite a logistical challenge given what has occurred in other states of Australia, so their conditions are changing almost hourly.

“What we need to do is be certain that any conditions of the 14-day quarantine will be rigorously enforced by police and oversighted strongly by health [officials].”

Commissioner Dawson said the AFL had been supportive in placing public health as the priority.

Mr McGowan reiterated his view that WA was now the most suitable location to hold this year’s AFL grand final.

He also joked Collingwood president and media personality Eddie McGuire might be placed in quarantine permanently.

“Imagine Eddie being quarantined in Western Australia permanently,” he said.

“We could put glass windows there and all go and look at him … maybe I’m going too far.”

Gold Coast hub ‘good’ to Eagles: Tim Kelly

Neither West Australian team has won a game while in their current hub on the Gold Coast, but Eagles midfielder Tim Kelly said the hub environment was not to blame.

Instagram - caitlinmiller- with kids and Tim Kelly

Instagram - caitlinmiller- with kids and Tim Kelly

Star AFL midfielder Tim Kelly has three children with his partner Caitlin Miller.(Instagram: __caitlinmiller__)

The father of three young boys travelled to Queensland with his family and recommended interstate players do the same when they come to Perth if they were allowed and it suited their circumstances.

“It hasn’t been too bad, we’ve got no complaints from a hub perspective. It’s not home but it’s the next best thing, the hub has been good to us all, there’s no excuses there,” he said.

“Everyone’s individual situation is different. I still feel like I’ve made the right decisions in bringing my family, I knew I would have done it tough without them.”

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