The standoff will most likely result in West Coast and Fremantle players being exempted to fly to Melbourne and Sydney for AFL fixtures to resume the season in mid to late June, play a batch of away games, and then bank on a bunch of home fixtures to finish the season and balance the ledger once WA eases its border control restrictions.
Eagles and Dockers players, coaches and officials will likely be forced to remain interstate for the first batch of fixtures given they would be required to quarantine for two weeks if they flew back home to WA after each match.
The quarantine hub arrangement, which initially seemed the only way AFL would resume before the number of COVID-19 cases began to drop across the country, was still being pushed by WA.
“What I’d say to the AFL is the hub arrangement, in which teams were going to move to Western Australia and play football, was a great arrangement and I would urge them to continue to pursue that, because it would have meant the integrity of our borders,” Mr McGowan said.
“An exciting new development in football that would be talked about for decades to come was right there, and they should continue to pursue that option.
“Our football teams have been disadvantaged by football hierarchy for a long period of time.
“And if that’s what happens [WA-based players flying interstate to resume the season], then that would be a further disadvantage for West Australian teams.”
Mr McGowan again implored the AFL to consider a quarantine hub in the west, where fixtures would be played at Optus Stadium and teams housed at nearby Crown Resort.
“Lots of people move away for work and live in difficult conditions. Football players in the current difficult economic times should be no exemption to that,” Mr McGowan said.