COVID outbreak forces AFL to delay fixture release

The next fixture block has been delayed until next week.

The next fixture block has been delayed until next week as the AFL gives itself more time to assess Brisbane's COVID-19 situation.

The League had planned to release details this week on the next group of scheduled games beyond round six, with 2-4 more rounds expected to be locked in.  

However the evolving COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland, which has seen the Lions forced to play this week's clash with Collingwood in Melbourne and Gold Coast jet out of the state ahead of its Friday night game in Adelaide, will see the AFL hold off on releasing its next block of games until next week.

It will give the League's fixturing bosses more time to judge the situation in Brisbane, which has entered a snap three-day lockdown after community transmission of the virus was detected.

Brisbane was due to play Port Adelaide at the Gabba in round seven, while Richmond and the Western Bulldogs are also scheduled to lock horns at the MCG. Traditional rivals Essendon and Carlton are also set to face off in round seven, while the Suns are on the road against Collingwood at the MCG.

The AFL released full details for rounds 1-6 of the 2021 premiership season in December as well as the match-ups for rounds 7-23, but did not confirm the dates and times for those games.

It will do so in a rolling model similar to last year, when the League was forced to take, at times, a week-by-week approach to fixturing games after COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the football season.

The Swans have also been caught up in the drama, with Sydney players and officials forced to isolate after playing in Brisbane in round one. The club has been cleared to train after all individuals pass a coronavirus test.

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