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Pendlebury officially cleared of coronavirus after previous false start

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17th March, 2020
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AFL star Scott Pendlebury has been cleared of having coronavirus as players await a decision from the league on whether the season will commence on Thursday.

Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury has been cleared of having coronavirus as AFL hierarchy weigh up whether to start the season as scheduled on Thursday night.

AFL bosses will decide on Tuesday if the season begins after the majority of players expressed support for playing round one in empty stadiums.

The looming decision comes as Pendlebury is cleared of having coronavirus.

“All clear!” Pendlebury tweeted on Tuesday, a day after being tested following suffering flu-like symptoms.

Pendlebury’s test result clears one hurdle for AFL chief Gillon McLachlan, who has said if one player tested positive for COVID-19 the AFL would shut down for at least 14 days and possibly longer.

The AFL Players Association on Monday night held a conference call with players where a consensus was reach to support the season starting as scheduled.

But Melbourne captain Max Gawn said there was no agreement among players about taking a reported 20 per cent pay cut.

McLachlan said the season will be reduced from 23 rounds to 17, adding every sector of the league will suffer financially as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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“I don’t think the AFL players have necessarily agreed to a pay cut yet is what the vibe I was getting,” Gawn told RSN927 radio on Tuesday.

“But I understand it will be all hands on deck if we’re going to lose some money.”

All 18 teams will play each other once in the abbreviated fixture with the first four rounds of games to run as scheduled before a new draw is created for the rest of the competition.

Richmond and Carlton are due to open the season behind closed doors at the MCG on Thursday night.

However, a final decision on whether that and other games proceed rests with the AFL on Tuesday.

Gawn said Melbourne’s players, due to play West Coast in Perth on Sunday, were unanimous in wanting to play.

“All 45 guys (players) that we have obviously have health concerns,” Gawn said.

“But they’re understanding that footy is the answer at the moment.

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“So round one, we want to go ahead and that is what I expressed to to the PA yesterday … there is no-one holding back from Melbourne’s point of view.”

State league competitions and associated women’s competitions have been postponed until at least May 31.

The AFLW has two rounds to go before finals and the future of its season is expected to be decided on Tuesday.

© AAP