‘Extraordinary’: AFL fans evicted from stadium in COVID-19 chaos
‘Extraordinary’: AFL fans evicted from stadium in COVID-19 chaos

‘Extraordinary’: Fans evicted in AFL chaos

Friday night's AFL game in Geelong was thrown into disarray after the Victorian Government introduced new regulations in response to the mystery coronavirus case in Brisbane.

Queensland's new COVID-19 case - who visited a dozen Brisbane venues while infectious - has been confirmed to have the highly contagious UK strain.

On Friday evening, the state's health department said genomic testing confirmed the man was linked to a cluster announced on March 12th, which involved a doctor at the Princess Alexandra Hospital and two returned travellers.

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Less than one hour before the first bounce at GMHBA Stadium, Victoria's Department of Health and Human Services announced new regulations relating to the latest positive test.

"Anyone who has entered Victoria from the City of Brisbane and Moreton Bay Region since 12 March must immediately self-isolate, get a coronavirus test within 72 hours, and stay isolated until they receive a negative result," the statement read.

The Brisbane Lions players - who were preparing to take on the Geelong Cats - fall under that category because they arrived from Queensland on Thursday.

However, the round two clash in Geelong went ahead because Brisbane's players were granted a late-minute exemption from the state government due to the enhanced biosecurity protocols they are abiding by.

The AFL confirmed on Friday evening: "The Brisbane Lions players, coaches and officials obtained an exemption from the Victorian Government from orange zone permit requirements as players, coaches and officials have all been living and abiding by approved AFL protocols."

Chris Fagan, senior coach of the Lions.
Chris Fagan, senior coach of the Lions.

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GMHBA Stadium's loudspeakers repeatedly told Brisbane fans who had flown in from Queensland since March 12 to leave the venue and immediately undertake a COVID-19 test.

"Extraordinary drama tonight as COVID rears its ugly head," footy reporter Jon Ralph told Fox Footy on Friday evening.

"As we speak, fans are being told that they must leave the ground if they have come in from Queensland. The loudspeakers are pushing that message.

"(Brisbane) are in an enhanced security bubble, so they will be able to fly out tomorrow."

As many as 30 Queenslanders were told to leave the venue and self-isolate, according to Fox Sports reporter Tom Morris.

Channel 7 revealed that commentators Luke Hodge and Wayne Carey were among those required to exit GMHBA Stadium.

Brisbane officials were also frantically shepherded away from the corporate area they were setting up to watch the game in.

Meanwhile, Sydney's AFL side and North Melbourne's AFLW team could both be considered "dirty clubs" given they played in Brisbane last week.

According to The Herald Sun, Saturday's AFLW clash involving the Lions' women's side will go ahead despite the COVID-19 scare.

The report claims the league will spend the next 24 hours assessing the potential fallout and impact of these COVID-19 guidelines on the AFL fixture.

Geelong ultimately secured a thrilling 12.9 (81) to 11.14 (80) victory, albeit in controversial circumstances.

Speaking to reporters after the one-point loss, Brisbane coach Chris Fagan conceded he thought there was a chance the match would be called off.

"I'm glad it wasn't (called off) because it was one of the better games of Aussie rules football that you'll ever see," Fagan said.

"We haven't received any information from the AFL. As far as I know, we're flying back tomorrow, but that could change. We'll just be ready to do whatever we have to.

"We'll just take our advice from the AFL and the Queensland government and do as we're told."

Originally published as 'Extraordinary': Fans evicted in AFL chaos



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