The Adelaide Crows have been fined $50,000 after a damning photo showed two players without face masks on a flight home from Sydney last weekend.
The AFL announced on Saturday the club’s punishment will come out of the club’s football department salary cap — potentially forcing the club to end the employment of a staff member.
The images of former captain Taylor Walker and defender Luke Brown were released by the Nine Network on Friday, hours after the Crows requested the AFL investigate claims of an alleged Covid-19 breach aboard the flight.
In a statement released Saturday morning, AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said there was “simply no excuse” for failing to abide by Covid-19 regulations.
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The statement reveals Walker and Brown were not the only members of the club who failed to meet the regulations.
“A number of Crows players and officials did not adhere to the applicable rule of wearing a facemask while on a commercial flight from Sydney to Adelaide last weekend,” the statement claimed.
“The AFL, in conjunction with the club, investigated the matter and determined a number of officials and players did not wear their facemasks properly while on the flight.
“The club has been fined $50,000, with 100 per cent of the sanction to be included in their Football Department Soft Cap.”
Crows CEO Tim Silvers responded to the fine in a statement: “We are well aware of our responsibilities and the need to adhere to guidance and protocols put in place by the AFL and health authorities.
Adelaide Crows training at Adelaide Oval, Adelaide.Source:News Corp Australia
“We failed in this area and we would like to apologise to the other passengers on the plane.
“Our Club accepts the AFL’s penalty and from top to bottom owns this error in judgement.
“We were complacent and this matter must serve as a reminder to be vigilant in playing our part to try and limit the spread of COVID-19.
“It is a privilege to be playing games during these challenging times and we acknowledge the government requirement for people to wear facemasks in airports and on all domestic commercial flights.”
As of January this year, the wearing of face masks is compulsory in all Australian airport terminals and on domestic commercial flights.
“The Club also acknowledges the government requirement for people to wear masks in airports and on all domestic commercial flights to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID-19,” the club’s statement read.
“Our coaches, players and staff understand it is a privilege to be playing football during these times, as well as the need to adhere to protocols and guidance from health authorities.
“The Club is fully co-operating with the League and awaits the findings of the investigation.”
Luke Brown and Taylor Walker were seen without masks on their flight to Adelaide.Source:FOX SPORTS
The Crows had been in Sydney for their relocated clash with Richmond but flew home afterwards to prepare for their Round 12 match against the Magpies.
The South Australian government waited until Wednesday to give Collingwood the green light to enter the state as Victoria continues to battle its latest outbreak of Covid-19.
Including players and coaching staff, only 35 club employees will be permitted to enter Adelaide for the game and will do so via a chartered flight.
— with NCA Newswire
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