Veteran journalist Mark Robinson has taken aim at ‘selfish’ Victorians after the AFL season was thrown into chaos by the state’s new virus outbreak.
The AFL's fixture was thrown into chaos on Monday after Queensland health officials issued new directives that force sporting teams based in the state into a 14-day quarantine should they play a Melbourne-based club.
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Queensland-based clubs would also be forced into quarantine if they either played in Melbourne, or came up against any team that had been in Melbourne in the preceding 14 days.
The tough new measures come after Victoria recorded 75 new coronavirus cases on Monday in a worrying spike.
The stance also has huge ramifications for the AFL given that there are 10 teams based in Victoria - and Robinson is fuming.
Mark Robinson blasts ‘selfish’ Victorians
Discussing the chaos on AFL 360 on Monday night, the Herald Sun journo hit out at ‘selfish’ Victorians who haven’t been taking the situation seriously.
“I’m really angry with the people who are being really selfish in Victoria at the moment,” he said on Fox Footy.
“We work in football, that’s our jobs, but the spread of positive tests they are a) threatening lives, but b) they are threatening people’s jobs.
“There’s so many industries trying to get started again and we’ve got these bloody people who think they can do whatever they like and we’ve got these positive tests and spreading this virus.
“It’s threatening to hurt people, don’t worry about killing them, it’s threatening to hurt with families losing their jobs again.”
While acknowledging it was for a great cause, Robinson suggested Melbourne’s Black Lives Matter rally was a key reason for the surge in virus cases.
“The Black Lives Matter march, that didn’t help,” he said.
“Really strong cause, absolutely strong cause, but from that moment I just think Victorians have said ‘if that can happen, we’ll just go and do whatever we like’.
“If we wake up tomorrow and it’s 130 positive… it’s just really worrying.”
AFL and NRL to be affected by new measures
Six AFL clubs have already been impacted by a round-five fixture reshuffle, and league boss Gillon McLachlan has warned of more changes to come.
The AFL's worst nightmare would be for Western Australia to further strengthen its coronavirus protocols.
The WA Government has granted permission for Victorian clubs Geelong and Collingwood to arrive in Perth next month for a three-week hub.
The Magpies and Cats will be forced into hotel quarantine for 14 days, but the WA Government will allow them to train during that period as well as play each other.
If the WA Government hardens its stance in the wake of the coronavirus spike in Victoria, the AFL will be forced into another fixture scramble.
The NRL is in a far better position given it has only one club based in Victoria - the Melbourne Storm.
The Storm are now resigned to the fact that they will have to stay in their new Sunshine Coast hub until at least August, and probably longer.
The new directive from the Queensland government won't affect the Storm immediately, meaning their clash with the Roosters on Thursday night is set to go ahead, despite it coming just eight days after the Storm left Victoria.
That match was originally scheduled for AAMI Park in Melbourne, but will now likely be played at the Storm's adopted home ground of Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.