AFL players have their say on coronavirus-hit season

AFL players have been surveyed on whether to kick off a 17-round season on Thursday night as planned.

More than 800 players were asked to fill in a six-part questionnaire on Monday night, and from those results a recommendation was to be taken to the AFL Players’ Association board, which was due to make a decision late on Monday night.

There was no simple vote, and there is not a uniform position held by the entire playing group. At an initial phone hook-up many players indicated their willingness to play on, while others expressed concerns. “Sentiment suggests they want to play,” a source familiar with the situation said.

The players were to be briefed on the likelihood that they would be asked to take a significant pay cut as the game loses massive revenue as a result of the virus.

The AFL announced on Monday afternoon that it would cut the 2020 season to 17 rounds due to the coronavirus outbreak, and would implement a number of radical changes to the fixture.

The league will make a decision on Tuesday as to whether the opening round will begin as normal on Thursday night, with the players’ decision looming as a crucial factor.


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