The Postponement of the National Rugby League Match in Melbourne

Following the rising COVID-19 cases in Victoria, the Apollo team has been working hard to ensure the safety of players and the staff members of the NRL. This also resulted to a relocation of the Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors game from Melbourne’s AAMI Park to Sydney’s Net Strata Jubilee Stadium. Victoria recorded a double-digit increase in the documented cases, which accounted for 90%of the new outbreaks in the country as of 22nd of June.

Stadium Changes and the Coronavirus

The Melbourne Storm flew to Sydney earlier in the week to prepare for Friday’s match. All players and staff members underwent COVID-19 testing to ensure that there was no risk of the spread of the virus. This came with many sacrifices on the team’s part, and Andrew Abdo, NRL’s acting CEO, showed his appreciation for the move. In his speech, he also thanked every stakeholder for their contribution to the success of the games, amid the challenging times and for everyone who put their personal interest aside to help make the games happen.

Having restarted their competitions in June, NRL has been doing everything in their power to keep them going while still looking out for players and staff members amid the COVID-19 crisis. However, cases continue to rise, calling for alarm, especially in the Australian Football League’s camp after a player tested positive.

With such cases being unpredictable, there is a probability that if shifts in a venue such as for Storm and the New Zealand team will not be possible, then some games will have to be postponed. More regulations on limiting contact between players is also a possibility, especially around a full-contact sport.

The number of deaths due to the pandemic is, however, not as alarming as in other countries, but this does not mean that the country has the go-ahead to resume its activities fully.