The 2020 AFL season has been officially postponed, with clubs being told that the competition has been suspended “indefinitely” amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
In a press conference on Sunday afternoon, AFL CEO Gillion McLachlan announced the season’s postponement after just one round of games.
The news was broken by reporter Damian Barrett shortly before Gillion’s media address at 4.30pm on Sunday afternoon.
AFL to brief clubs this afternoon on the remaining matches of 2020. Round one matches to be completed today. I can’t see Rd2 starting. More to come
— Damian Barrett (@barrettdamian) March 22, 2020
McLachlan also announced the decision to cancel the NAB AFL Women’s season in the middle of the semi-finals, with no premiership to be handed out for the games played in 2020.
The AFL season will be immediately postponed following the conclusion of today’s Hawthorn vs Brisbane and West Coast vs Melbourne games.
All AFL clubs were informed of the decision prior to the announcement on Sunday afternoon.
McLachlan asserted that the season has been postponed until at least May 31 2020, with the possibility of a further suspension if the coronavirus pandemic is not under control by the time a decision is made in late April.
The AFL remains committed to playing the remaining matches in the 2020 season, which has been reduced to 144 matches (17 rounds) as the season was shortened as the coronavirus health crisis continues to grow.
The move comes after the entire first round of the season was played in empty stadiums as the government’s large event ban prevented crowds of over 500 people.
More to come.Image: AAP Images / MICHAEL DODGE