AFL chief issues defiant response to WA’s Covid scare

A Covid-19 scare in WA has threatened to thwart the grand final, but AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan is confident the event will run smoothly.

Despite a major Covid-19 scare in Western Australia, AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan is confident the grand final on Saturday will go off without a hitch.

The state recorded no new Covid cases after a truck driver who spent two days in WA had tested positive not long after returning to NSW.

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With the grand final looming on Saturday, it threatened to derail the historic occasion.

McLachlan conceded he thought of the worst-case scenario after the truck driver’s positive test, but believed the WA government’s track record when dealing with Covid-19 was second to none.

“I’ve got confidence in this government and the health department and the police department,” McLachlan said.

“I think their history speaks for itself. We work with the government and we take their advice.

“Clearly, there was an aspect of it’s been that sort of year, but we leave it to the people that know what they’re doing and take their advice.

“We’re confident here, excited and touching wood.”

WA Premier Mark McGowan was also adamant the truck driver’s positive test would not have an impact on the greater Perth population to spoil the “marvellous, magnificent, incredible event for Western Australia”.

“The health advice this morning was … there’s nothing to stop the game going ahead,” McGowan said.

“There is no cases in WA, so we’re very confident and we’re putting in place all the measures for the people who were at those service stations to make sure they quarantine and get tested.”

The grand final promises to be a special occasion with plenty of pre-game entertainment, including Aussie rockers Eskimo Joe and Birds of Tokyo to name two.

But even once the entertainment begins, McLachlan won’t be completely at ease, conceding he is “not counting anything until the final siren”.

There were fears the players could potentially be caught up in the Covid-19 scare had they been out and about in public, but McLachlan put those to bed and backed the players to do the right thing.

“They’ve been so disciplined,” McLachlan said. “The players have worked so hard, and the coaches and the staff and the families.

“We’re here in part because of their resilience and their discipline, and I’ve got great confidence in the playing groups.”

Originally published as AFL chief Gillon McLachlan’s defiant response to WA Covid scare

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