Australia

SA misses out on AFL Grand Final

With South Australia being the runner up state to host the AFL grand final, Premier Steven Marshall said it ‘stood ready’ to host the event if required. It comes as the state no longer has any active or new COVID-19 cases.Mr Marshall said Queensland was rewarded for its efforts to keep the AFL season alive.…

With South Australia being the runner up state to host the AFL grand final, Premier Steven Marshall said it ‘stood ready’ to host the event if required.

It comes as the state no longer has any active or new COVID-19 cases.

Mr Marshall said Queensland was rewarded for its efforts to keep the AFL season alive.

“We put in a strong, passionate bid but … unfortunately we were pipped at the post,” he said on Wednesday.

“Our presentation was very well regarded to the point that if there is any problem in Queensland with coronavirus, we stand ready to host the AFL grand final.

“At the moment, Queensland has 28 active cases and we have zero in SA but we can’t become complacent … We have every confidence in the capability in Queensland.”

Although Mr Marshall “knew Queensland was always in the box seat”, he said he’d love to see preliminary finals at Adelaide Oval.

“We are continuing respectful discussions with (the AFL) on the rest of the finals. As I’ve always said, we are hoping to get finals footy here.

“We got excellent feedback from the AFL. We want to see home finals for Port Adelaide and other teams as well.”

When questioned about the state governments decisions earlier in the year not to lift border restrictions and start AFL hubs, he said the health crisis was the top priority.

“We were never going to compromise those so we weren’t in a position like other states in terms of their offer to the AFL earlier in the season,” Mr Marshall said.

“We had some pretty worrying numbers back in April when this was being negotiated and we weren’t prepared to compromise our health and I think that was the right decision.”

Mr Marshall also confirmed the case which is no longer active was one of the “brave” nurses who travelled to Victoria to help deal with its coronavirus outbreaks.

“We’re doing everything we can to support Victoria during this difficult time.”

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan officially announced on Wednesday that Queensland would host the Grand Final on October 24.

He said the decision came down to key criteria being: “safety and the best environment for all, integrity and need for uncompromised games in a high performance environment, fans and engagement of existing and new supporters, financial support in a year where revenue has been significantly impacted and the legacy for a long term vision for our game.”

“The presentations were outstanding and the decision extraordinarily difficult,” he said.

“We have a contingency. In case there are outbreaks that threaten the ability of safety hosting the grand final at the Gabba, we have the ability to reduce numbers or move the grand final to Adelaide Oval.”





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