'There's No Winners Today': AFL Season Postponed Amid Coronavirus Emergency
The 2020 AFL season has been postponed after just one round, as states and territories close their borders in a desperate bid to contain the spread of coronavirus.
The season will be postponed for two months, while the women's AFLW season has been canned completely, with no premiership to be awarded.
"Games will be suspended until May 31, 2020. We will review the situation in April to determine if a further suspension is required," AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said on Sunday.
"The resumption time for the season will be reviewed and depending on the medical advice and government regulations in place at the time, the date could be extended out."
Clubs were told of the decision on Sunday afternoon, with the scheduled Hawthorn-Brisbane and West Coast-Melbourne games to be completed to finish off round one.
The announcement follows drastic measures implemented by South Australia, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory to close their borders, while Victoria and New South Wales plan to embark on widespread shutdowns.
McLachlan said the postponement of the season would have a huge financial impact on the entire industry, but that the decision to halt play was the right one.
"The AFL industry is facing its biggest financial crisis in our history. But our key priority is to do everything possible to keep players, staff and supporters healthy and well through this pandemic.
"Our industry provides livelihoods for thousands and thousands of people E. But our key focus at the moment, like every organisation in the country, is to do everything that needs to be done to slow the spread of this virus. And to keep people as healthy as possible.
"To say that this is the most serious threat to our game in 100 years is an understatement. It is unprecedented in its impact."
The AFL intends to play all remaining 144 games, plus finals, this year.
"The competition will need to be, to remain agile and flexible on when those games are scheduled and when play returns," McLachlan said.
"We are prepared to run as let as possible in 2020 to complete the season if it was required."
McLachlan appeared defeated as he addressed reporters, telling them: "There's no winners today."