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When will AFL return? League set to reveal return to play plans on May 11

  • The AFL is yet to formally announce any plans to resume games
The AFL plans on making a formal announcement on the resumption of the season in early May (Getty Images)

When will AFL return? League set to reveal return to play plans on May 11

The AFL has delayed revealing its return to play plans until May 11, instead taking the cautious approach before announcing its intentions.

AFL.com.au's Damian Barrett reported that the league told clubs two weeks ago that it would outline its course out of the COVID-19 enforced shutdown by the start of next week, but late on Friday AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan informed the stakeholders of the new timeline.

"The national cabinet has indicated that they will review restrictions at a meeting on May 10 provided the (coronavirus infection) curve is still flattening and testing rates are increasing," McLachlan said to clubs in a memo.

"The timetable we will now work to is the week beginning May 11 when we will be able to provide full details for clubs and supporters on a proposed date for a resumption of training and return to play.

"That will give us time to finalise our national planning while continuing to work with governments and chief health officers around the country."

McLachlan stated that it is important that the league and the government is on the same page when it comes to a definitive return date for the AFL.

"Making sure we are aligned with the advice of government and the relevant medical authorities and ensuring everything we do protects the health and safety of our players and staff and the wider community has been at the core of our planning in ensuring we play the remaining 144 games plus finals.

"Obviously aligned to that announcement as an industry in the week of May 11, we will have to work through what the implications are for our own staff at AFL and club level. This is an incredibly challenging time for so many people across our industry and we need to continue to work closely with them.

"I realise that this means that all our staff will have to wait longer for clarity about next steps."

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