The AFL is reportedly “furious” with the Adelaide Crows for breaching the league’s training protocols by training in a group this week.
The Crows have 16 players quarantining for 14 days in a Barossa Valley resort – which is temporarily closed to the public – after they returned from interstate on Monday.
But the resort neighbours a golf course and a witness said players had been running and training in groups on the fairways.
They players are under investigation because AFL players are only permitted to train in pairs to ensure teams are not disadvantaged by contrasting coronavirus regulations in different states.
“The AFL is furious,” footy reporter Sam McClure told 3AW Radio.
“The Adelaide Crows have now cast a major doubt over the pending restart of the AFL season.”
“Crows say SA police granted the crows a special exemption regarding the state isolation laws. The laws state people returning from interstate must isolate, and essentially not leave. The crows booked a hotel and apparently got the ok”
The Crows admitted the players may have breached the rules by allegedly having a larger group, accompanied by an assistant coach who is also undergoing mandatory self-isolation, training together for part of a scheduled session on Thursday afternoon.
Adelaide Crows CEO Andrew Fagan said the players made an “honest mistake”.
“We know it’s a community issue and we are all expected to play our role in flattening the curve. That’s clear and we are not shying away from that,” Fagan told SEN Breakfast on Friday.
“We had 16 players return from interstate. We had approval from SA Police to train down at that facility which is a 20-acre facility, so it’s got some ability for the players to not just be in their rooms but to move around and do some running and training.
“The expectation which was clearly articulated was to be in pairs and to maintain social distancing. This was their first session there and it appears as though that the communication about how the first session was to be conducted wasn’t anywhere near as clear as it needed to be.
“They (trained in pairs) for a number of elements in the session but for others they came together beyond their pairs and they breached some of those social distancing rules.