Hawthorn have copped a fine for breaking AFL return-to-play protocols against Sydney in round eight. Image by Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS

Australian rules football

Four AFL clubs fined for protocol breaches

2020-07-31 18:28:35

Four AFL clubs have been fined for breaching the league’s COVID-19 protocols over the past seven days.

Hawthorn received a $50,000 fine of which $20,000 has been suspended for the remainder of the season.

Richmond, Carlton and North Melbourne were each fined $45,000 with $20,000 suspended.

All four teams have accepted their sanctions.

The Hawks’ breach occurred at their round-eight clash with Sydney at the SCG.

Richmond, Carlton and North Melbourne’s breaches happened while the clubs were based in their Queensland hubs.

Hawthorn confirmed their breach was “a result of non-selected players entering into a public area” of the SCG.

North Melbourne’s breach related to players’ partners attending a game, though the Kangaroos believed they had AFL approval at the time.

“Although the club believed it was operating with the full approval of the AFL and strongly suggests a communication breakdown is at fault, it accepts the decision that’s been handed down,” the Kangaroos said in a statement.

The Blues said a member of their travelling group had “inadvertently” breached protocols after seeking assistance with childcare duties. A Carlton player’s children had reportedly attended a theme park with their grandparents.

Meanwhile Richmond confirmed an “unintentional” breach of protocols – reported to have been a player’s partner attending a beauty salon.

The AFL also detailed future sanctions for protocol breaches by “club people” – specified as players, club staff, players’ partners and family members and staff members’ partners and family members.

From Friday, a first offence will draw a sanction of up to $25,000 (50 per cent suspended), with $25,000 of that fine included in the 2020 soft cap.

A second offence draws a fine up to $75,000, plus the $25,000 previously suspended for the first offence – with $100,000 included in the soft cap.

The penalty for third and/or subsequent offences will be at the discretion of the AFL Commission or general counsel Andrew Dillon and could include a monetary sanction, loss of premiership points or loss of draft picks.

Additional club officials, players and family members arrived in Queensland from Victoria this week, while Sydney and GWS are temporarily relocating to Brisbane ahead of their round nine and 10 matches.