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SANFL mandates no vax, no play

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SANFL players and staff across all state league competitions will need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by late January or they will be barred from playing or training.

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The South Australian Football Commission yesterday agreed to impose a vaccine mandate on all players, support staff and volunteers across its multiple league and reserves competitions.

The mandate will come into force on January 28 ahead of the SANFL women’s league season starting on February 4.

Players and staff will also be required to receive a booster shot within the recommended timeframe.

Those who do not comply would be banned from attending club premises to train or play, unless they have an approved medical exemption.

SANFL CEO Darren Chandler said a recent survey conducted by all SANFL clubs showed that by the end of the year, 87 per cent of players, coaches, officials, umpires and staff would be fully-vaccinated.

“We’ve been taking a strong stance on vaccination and this policy now delivers on our commitment to protect players, staff, volunteers and the broader community,” he said.

“Our priority is to create the safest environment possible for our players, staff and volunteers while also doing everything we possibly can to keep all South Australians safe and minimise any risk of COVID-19 transmission.’’

SANFL umpires, as employees of SANFL, need to be fully vaccinated by January 10 to comply with SANFL’s workforce vaccination policy.

The policy does not cover community football, which includes all affiliated leagues and SANFL juniors.

Under the AFL’s vaccine policy, announced in October, players and football staff at SA-based clubs must be fully-vaccinated by February 18 to participate in the 2022 pre-season.

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