AFLW set to restrict player and fan interactions over coronavirus fears

Players from at least one club have been advised to let the club know if any of their family members or close friends have returned to Australia from overseas in the past fortnight.

The club in question has also advised players that when travelling they should bring antiseptic wipes and hand sanitiser with them, while recommending players wear face masks.

Meanwhile, players enrolled in university studies have been encouraged to complete modules online if required.

Players have also been told not to touch their nose, mouth and eyes, to avoid sharing water bottles and to squirt water into their mouth rather than placing their mouth on the bottle.

“We’re not even allowed to ‘high-five’ at the club any more,” Magpie Sharni Layton told RSN on Thursday morning.

“We have to walk straight off the field after games.

“We’ve got to be super, super-safe in regard to the coronavirus. We have to have our own drink bottles. I don’t know how I’m going to go … I do get a lot of my energy from that physical touch.

“But you can tackle people. It’s very unusual but it [coronavirus] is a very serious matter.

“But we want to keep playing our games so we need to do whatever is possible to make sure we still play.”

The threat of a government-imposed ban on mass gatherings in coming weeks could also affect the AFLW grand final which last year drew more than 53,000 to Adelaide Oval for the Crows’ win over Carlton.

Melbourne have segregated their men’s and women’s programs, with female players continuing to be based at AAMI Park and the men having moved to Casey Fields, home ground of the Dees’ VFL affiliate.


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