Kyabram Free Press
Cross-border leagues await guidance on vaccination framework
Two cross-border football-netball league bosses have admitted that ‘no jab, no play’ measures could be a reality at community sport in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Murray League general manager Dale Norman and Picola District operations manager Shane Railton added their views to those of Heathcote District League chair Peter Cole, who earlier announced his support for vaccine requirements at a district level.
No framework has been announced by any sport governance bodies about vaccination policies, and Norman noted nothing was set in stone.
He said it was a matter for AFL Victoria to mandate such policies, forecasting the reality of community sport in the pandemic.
"I think it's a matter of reality that if you're not double-jabbed or if you haven't been vaccinated, you probably won't be allowed to play sport," Norman said.
"But it shouldn't be up to every individual league or any individual club to make that stance, I think it needs leadership from the governing body to mandate such a condition.
"At this stage, given that there hasn't been sufficient (vaccine) supply, it's hard to mandate anything in terms of vaccinations, but by next year when everybody's had their opportunity to be vaccinated I'm certain that if you haven't had a jab, or you haven't been vaccinated, you won't be allowed to play sport.
"We are fully supportive of that." Railton said his league was also yet to receive any guidance, predicting difficulties in enforcement of any policies.
"I think it's highly likely — to do anything you're going to need to do it," Railton said.
"The policing of it makes it quite difficult. I think it will be much like everything else, it will be the responsibility of the person.
"We've got no direction from the AFL or any sporting body to suggest that will be the case."
Both leagues confirmed the cancellations of their seasons in late August following ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns.
It was the second season in a row that finals could not be hosted.