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Karl loses it over AFL ‘bonking ban’

Karl Stefanovic has had a good chuckle over the AFL’s reported attempt to enforce a bonking ban on players as part of its biosecurity protocols for a season restart on June 11. The Today Show host on Tuesday couldn’t help but feel sorry for the players, who face heavy sanctions if busted between the sheets.The…

Karl Stefanovic has had a good chuckle over the AFL’s reported attempt to enforce a bonking ban on players as part of its biosecurity protocols for a season restart on June 11.

The Today Show host on Tuesday couldn’t help but feel sorry for the players, who face heavy sanctions if busted between the sheets.

The Herald Sun first reported on Monday night the AFL has quietly made it clear to clubs and players that irresponsible sexual behaviour could lead to penalties and playing bans.

The report indicates the AFL has not officially documented the bonking ban policy, which bans players from engaging in a series of sexual hook-ups.

One night stands have not been banned as long as the player acts in a responsible manner — limiting the risk of catching coronavirus and spreading it to teammates.

The AFL’s official guidelines currently state players can see “a person they are in an intimate relationship with”.

The bonking ban is just one of many social distancing protocols the AFL has introduced across the game as part of its strict rules for a season restart in just over three weeks.

Players and the family members of the teams entering into interstate hubs in Queensland are banned from cafes, restaurants and bars.

They are also only allowed to welcome their partners and children into their own homes, while family and friends are allowed to enter their properties only if they are providing care or support for their wellbeing.

The complex situation is looming as a minefield for the AFL, especially with the game now determined to police the so-called bonking ban with threats of penalties against any player found to have contracted COVID-19 as a result of irresponsible sexual activity.

It was all too much on Tuesday morning for Stefanovic, who needed to pause while in the middle of introducing the topic of discussion in a segment with advertising executive Dee Madigan and Jessica Irvine, a senior reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald.

“AFL players have been told no more bonking,” he said before needing to take a quick pause.

“It’s a very difficult world for me to say with any kind of credibility.”

When Madigan suggested the new bonking guidelines would be impossible for NRL players to follow, Stefanovic said he felt sorry for the players of both football codes.

“Ooh, come on Dee, that is just nasty,” he said with a grin.

“I feel a little bit sorry for them. These poor guys have been locked away for the last 17 weeks and then they come back and they play footy and it’s like, ‘Oh my god, what are they supposed to do’. “

Players from the Adelaide Crows, Port Adelaide, West Coast and Fremantle will all be based on the Gold Coast as part of the league’s re-start plans, which will see teams cleared to return to full contact training next week.

Partners and family members have been given clearance to travel with the players, but will be held to the same strict social distancing rules being enforced across the game.

Fierce foes Port Adelaide and Adelaide will even be based in the same hotel hub.

The South Australian clubs will both be housed at the Mercure Gold Coast Resort for at least seven weeks.

Power coach Ken Hinkley said the decision doesn’t make sense.

“We are arch enemies … it doesn’t make a lot of sense to put them together,” Hinkley said.

“We have these great matches, these great grudge matches, and we’re going to go into a place and be all buddies?

“I’m not sure about that. It just doesn’t quite feel right in Adelaide.”

Port and the Crows will depart for the Gold Coast on Sunday, ahead of clearance to resume full contact training next Monday.

“Hopefully we’re not there for any longer than the six or seven weeks but we don’t know that,” Hinkley said.

“We can deal with it for a bit but there’s a tipping point.”

Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks, in his first season at the helm of the Crows, had no problem with being housed with Port.

“We cross the white line, then she’s on,” Nicks, a former Port assistant coach, said on Monday.

“But I know a lot of our (SA) guys, they know each other really well.

“Sharing a hotel with Port Adelaide, I have no issue. I know a lot of them well.

“(If) we play at that neutral venue … well, different story.”

SA health protocols bar contact training until June 8 – three days before the AFL season restarts – meaning both Port and the Crows were effectively forced into a Gold Coast hub.

— with AAP

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