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AFL players testing positive for coronavirus a "certainty" says leading sports doctor


Doctor Peter Brukner is a respected medical professional and sports specialist who has previously worked for Melbourne and Collingwood in the AFL, as well as the Australian Cricket Team and for Liverpool in the EPL.

He believes the AFL must postpone its season effective immediately, saying it is inevitable that one person involved with a side will get infected and force an entire team into quarantine for two weeks.

This has already happened in the NBA, with Utah’s Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell infected, causing both the Jazz and their opponents from the night Oklahoma City to be isolated. The NBA has since shut down its season for a minimum of 30 days.

The AFL meanwhile has delayed any decision on Round 1 to next week and it remains unclear whether they will play in empty stadiums or simply postpone.

Dr. Brukner however does not believe the season should go ahead.

“I can almost guarantee that some time in the next couple of weeks, someone at an AFL club or an NRL club or an A-League club is going to test positive for this virus,” he told SEN’s Whateley.

“I think it is pretty much a certainty. What happens then?”

“It doesn’t even have to be a player. It could be a coach, it could be a physiotherapist, it could be a statistician.

“Anyone who has direct contact with players, I know clubs have tried to isolate their playing group away from external people, but it is impossible to do that completely.

“Let’s just say one person in one of those groups in the 18 clubs tests positive for coronavirus, then everyone in contact with that person has to be isolated.

“All the playing list and all the coaches and staff have to be isolated for two weeks.

“So that club is out of action for two weeks. So they can’t play their game and what happens then?

“I think that is going to happen in the next couple of weeks. Round 1 might be played next week in an empty stadium.

“I think it’s a fair risk that within two or three weeks were going to have to cancel all sport in the country.”

All gatherings of 500 people or more have been banned as of Monday.

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