Fresh twist after footy stars caught out

Port Adelaide has avoided sanction after footage emerged of four Power players without masks at this week’s Olympic swimming trials in Adelaide.

Screenshots showed Zak Butters, Mitch Georgiades, Ollie Lord and Dylan Williams in the crowd without masks on, violating Swimming Australia’s Covid-19 policy.

“Masks must be worn at all times unless consuming food/drink while in your allocated seat,” the policy states.

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The AFL released a statement on Friday evening, confirming Port Adelaide would not be fined because the quartet had just finished eating.

“Whilst the vision on the broadcast showed the four players without masks on, it was determined, after speaking with the club and players involved, that they had recently finished consuming their food/beverages – however the players acknowledge they still should have returned to wearing their masks more promptly thereafter,” the statement read.

“The four Port Adelaide players attended the swimming as members of the public, unlike the recent Adelaide Crows matter where the players and officials were under AFL jurisdiction in travelling home from a game on a flight and in club uniform.

“The AFL has asked Port Adelaide to provide further education to all players and officials at the club about following the appropriate guidelines in place for whatever event or establishment they may be visiting in their own time.

“The Covid pandemic only respects discipline and we remind everyone in the community to continue to follow the advice of Governments and medical professionals.”

Screenshots of Port Adelaide players at the Australian Olympic Swimming Trials.Source:Supplied

Port Adelaide General Manager of Football Chris Davies said Butters, Georgiades, Lord and Williams willingly assisted the AFL with their investigation.

“The players had purchased food and beverages earlier and had placed their food and drinks in front of them during the race. Their masks were placed on their laps at the time,” Davies said.

“Once they had finished eating and drinking they put their masks back on as required.

“The aquatic centre confirmed today they had Covid officials at the event last night and at no point did they request for our players to put their masks back on.

“The players involved voluntarily sent their credit card statements to the AFL today to ensure the timing coincided with when they were captured in that photo.”

Earlier this month, the Adelaide Crows were fined $50,000 after images surfaced of players without face masks on a flight home from Sydney.

“We all have a very clear responsibility to ensure we do everything we can to best protect the health and well-being of our family, friends and everyone in the community,” AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said at the time.

“The rule here is clear and has been in place for some time and there is simply no excuse for not abiding by it.

“We will not compromise the health and well-being of the community, and remind everyone in the industry – players, coaches, officials and staff – that they have a responsibility to adhere to the rules for the safety of everyone.”

Port Adelaide will next face the Gold Coast Suns at Metricon Stadium on Saturday afternoon, with the first bounce scheduled for 1:45pm AEST.

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