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AFL chairman Richard Goyder says Adelaide’s training protocol breach “probably didn’t help” the league’s attempts to secure training and travel exemptions for the Crows and Port Adelaide.
A group of 16 Crows players broke AFL coronavirus protocols last week during a training session conducted while quarantining in the Barossa Valley.
SA chief health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier said the training breach had nothing to do with the decision to deny exemptions, but Goyder conceded it hadn’t helped the situation.
“It probably didn’t help the internal conversations in South Australia,” Goyder told ABC Grandstand radio.
“At the end of the day (the breach) was two times eight minutes and it was a stupid thing.
“It’s happened, we’ve dealt with it and the protocols from here on are pretty clear.”
Assistant coach Ben Hart received a six-week suspension while the 16 players were given suspended one-match bans.
Goyder defended the sanctions and said they’d been delivered while the league was investigating potential breaches from other clubs.
“You’ve got to look at the context, what happened and the time in which it happened … it was the appropriate penalty,” Goyder said.
“At the same time we were investigating a number of other instances of potential breaches from clubs – I hasten to say investigating.”
The Crows are set to share a flight with Port Adelaide when they relocate to the Gold Coast.
They plan to depart on Sunday May 24 and begin full-contact training the next day.
Adelaide’s head of football Adam Kelly told ABC Grandstand the full list would head to the Gold Coast, where they’ll be in the same resort as their fierce rivals.
“Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more unusual, you’re sharing facilities with Port Adelaide and I’m sure they’d be feeling the same way,” Kelly said.
“The reality is that all 18 clubs have been really collaborative off the field. We’ll be competitive as ever on the field – we can assure our fans of that.
“We’re not really sure how the accommodation and facility provisions will be set up and how regularly we’ll cross paths with Port Adelaide – but I’m sure we will.”