Hawthorn hit hardest over COVID-19 breaches

The AFL has handed out a combined $185,000 worth of fines to the four clubs who found to have had family members break the league’s COVID-19 protocols.

Hawthorn was hit hardest, with the club accepting a $50,000 fine ($25,000 suspended for the remainder of the season), while Carlton, North Melbourne and Richmond accepted $45,000 fines ($25,000 suspended for the remainder of the season).

Following the offences, sanctions for breaches of the league’s COVID-19 protocols by ‘club people’ to be included in the official AFL rules.

‘Club people’ will be defined by the AFL as club stuff, players’ partners and family members, club staff partners and family members and players.

Per the AFL’s sanctions for ‘club people’ from 31 July 2020 onward, a first offence will see clubs handed sanctions of up to $50,000 (50% suspended) and $25,000 included in 2020 soft cap, while a second offence will see up to $75,000 worth of sanctions (plus $25,000 from a first offence), with $100,000 included in the 2020 soft cap.

Hawthorn has been battered on the field in recent weeks and was now fined the most by the AFL (Getty)

A third and subsequent offence could see the AFL Commission or General Counsel dock teams of premiership points and draft picks.

Following the four teams’ sanctions, AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon reiterated that the primary focus of the league was to ensure the safety of the community.

“Our primary focus, like everyone around the country, is to play our role in continuing to keep safe the communities in which we play. We know it is a privilege to be able to continue our competition which provides jobs for thousands of people around the country, and joy to millions of fans.” Mr Dillon said.  

“The protocols are in place to not only protect players, officials, staff, and now their visiting families, but also the wider community in which we have been given the opportunity to train and play.  

“We all have to modify our behaviours in order for the competition to continue in a safe manner.”   

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