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Crows, Port bail out of SA for Victoria

Football

Adelaide and Port Adelaide have left for Victoria after the AFL clubs were unable to gain an exemption to train and play during South Australia’s lockdown.

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In a topsy-turvy few hours in which plans were made, changed, cancelled and made again, the AFL finally settled on flying Adelaide and Port Adelaide to Victoria following the announcement of South Australia’s seven-day lockdown.

Port Adelaide were originally set to host Collingwood at Adelaide Oval on Friday night, with the Crows to host Hawthorn at the same venue the following night.

But those matches will now be played at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.

The AFL had considered numerous alternatives, with the prospect of a Showdown between Port Adelaide and Adelaide in the planning at one point before that idea was quashed by the South Australian Government.

“We had not been able to secure an exemption for the SA-based teams to train over the next week and this afternoon we were informed that the SA Government could not provide permission for any games in Adelaide to go ahead on the weekend,” AFL fixture boss Travis Auld said.

“As a result, it was clear that the two SA-based teams would not be able to continue in the competition without relocating from South Australia to Victoria.

“Our decision-making changes as circumstances change and we understand how difficult it is for everyone, however when it was determined that we couldn’t play a game in SA at all, it forced our hand.”

The lockdown has also forced the shutdown of the state league.

The SANFL declared on Tuesday that “all training and matches across every level of football in SA remain cancelled until further notice”, including all state league competitions, talent programs, Juniors, Auskick, school and community football “for at least the next seven days”.

SANFL CEO Darren Chandler said the league would consider a range of options in coming days “for the remainder of SANFL season in consultation with participating clubs”, saying: “We will continue to review the situation over the coming days but are fully committed to seeing the season out.”

-with AAP

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