The AFL has been rocked by reports that the controversial Queensland quarantine point has turned into a ‘out of control’ party.
About 400 AFL players and officials flew to Queensland from coronavirus-drenched Victoria a week ago after getting permission to evade state incarceration.
The move enraged those who unsuccessfully applied for a medical exemption to skip Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk’s mandatory hotel quarantine.
AFL chief Gill McLachlan is reportedly upset about the behavior at the hub at the Mecure Resort, which has come under public scrutiny.
Furious Channel Nine reporter Tony Jones described the quarantine hub as “ out of control, ” asking questions of some of those who had entered the hub.
‘I disagree with some of the people who went there. You’re talking about grandparents, babysitters, a reporter’s girlfriend, there are even suggestions that a swimming coach went there for the kids – this got out of hand, ” Jones told Footy Classified Monday night.
AFL WAGs and officials have been spotted lounging by the Mercure pool during their Gold Coast hotel quarantine
Panelist Caroline Wilson intervened, saying they were getting paid for it anyway.
“It doesn’t matter Caro, it doesn’t matter,” Jones argued.
Do you really need babysitters? Do you really need grandparents up there? ‘
Wilson replied, “The players say they do.”
Former Cricket Australia boss, who became a board member of Geelong Cats, James Sutherland, is also among those who made the trip, along with his young son.
The AFL has since defended Sutherland’s inclusion in the hub.
“Geelong is about to embark on a final campaign and James’ long experience of touring parties in top sporting environments provides help and leadership to their group,” said a spokesman.
It comes after it was revealed to AFL WAGs and officials are living it out in ‘hotel quarantine’ – sipping cocktails while lounging by the pool at their luxury Gold Coast resort last week.
AFL boss Gil McLachlan (pictured with wife Laura) has reportedly reminded those hiding in the quarantine hub of the strict pool and bar guidelines in place due to COVID-19
Aerial images shown by Nine news on Thursday – showed WAGs relaxing by the pool in the quarantine resort while kids splash in the water.
The wives and girlfriends of players and officials sunbathe with a drink in the hand from the sun, just a few steps from the pool bar.
Obviously, McLachlan is already frustrated with some of the behavior, including people sunbathing too close together at the hotel’s pools and officials meeting at the bar after 5pm, where there is a limit to two drinks at once to buy.
Since then, text messages have been sent to all 400 people in the quarantine center, reminding them of the pool and bar etiquette.
In a meeting with hub leaders, McLachlan made ‘crystal clear’ that any breaches would have serious consequences and could lead to people being sent home, the Herald Sun reported.
Babysitters, grandparents and swimming coach are among those who have hid in the quarantine point. Depicted are family members of AFL players arriving to the Gold Coast on July 30
Tony Jones (pictured) described the AFL quarantine point in Queensland as ‘out of control’
Bird’s-eye view video footage of the quarantine hotel showed AFL officials and WAGs making the most of the upscale Mercure resort
The vision of WAGS and officials enjoying the pool and bar facilities is a world away from the experience of other travelers who fought desperately to enter Queensland.
Jayne Brown, 60, spent two weeks in a tiny Brisbane hotel room after her recent return from Sydney, where famed neurosurgeon Dr. Charlie Teo removed two large tumors in her brain.
The grandmother of seven filed for a hotel quarantine exemption to isolate herself at home on the Sunshine Coast, but was turned down twice.
She denounced Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk for letting AFL officials enter the state last week.
“I don’t understand, amazing,” said Mrs. Brown Nine news.
Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk has been criticized for relaxing her strict border controls to welcome officials and their loved ones from coronavirus-riddled Victoria
Jayne Brown (pictured) was not exempt from isolating herself in her Sunshine Coast home
The Queensland government has identified Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT as hotspots for the coronavirus.
Travelers from hotspot states who receive a border declaration pass must spend 14 days in mandatory hotel quarantine at their own expense.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg accused the Queensland government of double standards.
Mr Frydenberg said the football hub showed two sets of rules about boundaries as regular gamblers had missed essential medical treatment.
“It’s just not like a young woman can lose an unborn child through confusion at borders,” he told The Nine Network on Thursday.
At the same time, footy officials can go to their hotel bar because they are called quarantine in Queensland.
“It seems like double standards at our borders.”
AFL boss Gil McLachlan is reportedly outraged over some of the poolside behavior
Former Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland (pictured with wife Heidi) is also among those hiding in the AFL quarantine as a board member of Geelong Cats
Mr. Frydenberg’s comments sparked an angry response from Collingwood president Eddie McGuire, who has since provided insight into the quarantine point.
“They are the children of the players’ wives who have been away from their families for a few months now,” he told Triple M listeners.
“Yesterday I saw Eddie Betts’s wife who is pregnant with her three children. In Queensland, they can jump into a pool in an enclosed area with a giant fence on the outside.
‘I’ve never heard of an apple compared to a pineapple, but of an attempt to reach this political point score and politics of envy.
“There are no AFL officials at the pool bar, they are people who work here.”
McLachlan arrives Wednesday for a press conference from Queensland’s quarantine hub to announce the 2020 AFL Grand Final will be played in Gabba
AFL officials and their families are still required to undergo hotel quarantine after flying into the state.
But they are free to leave their room and use the pool and bar, unlike other quarantine guests who are confined to their room only.
Queensland will host the 2020 Grand Final in Gabba in Brisbane on October 24 following a deadly outbreak of the coronavirus in Victoria.