Showdown set for Oval
PREMIER Steven Marshall remains confident Adelaide Oval will host the Crows and Port Adelaide Showdown in Round 2 as the Government and AFL near an agreement.
The long-awaited first block of fixtures for the resumption of the AFL season will be released next week after crucial talks last night between officials paved the way for a home clash.
While a the match between the two SA clubs was recently touted as Round 2 certainty at Adelaide Oval after the teams were given elite-athletes exemption this week, a new glitch threw the game in doubt.
It emerged on Thursday night that SA does not have the amount of required field umpires to officiate the game nor the crew to broadcast it.
But sources say the AFL and Government are closing in on an compromise that will bring joy to both clubs and local supporters.
The AFL is prepared to fly in the required umpires to Adelaide and have them undergo the required 14-day isolation period.
The State Government has offered to provide the broadcast crew with a quarantine exemption that will allow them to drive into SA and leave their base at the Pullman Hotel in the CBD to cover the game.
Mr Marshall said the exemption to the broadcast crew would be under “strict conditions”.
“I think we are getting closer and closer to a local showdown in South Australia,” he said.
“The ball is in the court of the AFL, so they will make a decision on that.
“We think it is a good deal. I’m hopeful we can have a Showdown here in South Australia.”
The AFL was still working through the scenario last night.
The use of SANFL field umpires for the match was quickly ruled out by the AFL.
Adelaide assistant coach Michael Godden said he believed SANFL umpires would be good enough.
“I have no doubt; they do the job every week in the SANFL,” he said.
“There are plenty of appropriate people but the AFL has its staff and we understand that is the way it is meant to be.”
Inaugural Adelaide coach and Advertiser columnist Graham Cornes said on Twitter it was “ridiculous” that SANFL umpires could not be considered.
The “snag”, as Mr Marshall described it, was only identified on Thursday.
If the Showdown can be scheduled for Round 2 and is played in Adelaide then it would delay the need for the Crows and Port Adelaide to go to a Gold Coast hub by at least a week.
Power captain Tom Jonas, pictured, said if the derby were scheduled later in the year, it could help the state’s hospitality industry.
“We can make it a really big event around Adelaide and hopefully get the hotel industry firing again,” he said.
A blockbuster between Richmond and Collingwood is expected to restart the season on June 11.