AFL's All Stars game scrapped - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL's All Stars game scrapped

By Sam Lienert 04/02/2011 05:28:14 PM Comments (0)

The AFL says the threat of flash floods and severe winds gave it no option but to cancel the scheduled Indigenous All Stars match against Richmond in Alice Springs.

The pre-season encounter was meant to take place on Friday night.

But after first switching it from Darwin, then changing the time to try to avoid hostile weather, the AFL on Friday morning cancelled it altogether.

The decision was made when the Tigers were at Melbourne Airport, about to board a plane, the club instead organising a training session in their home city.

AFL football operations general manager Adrian Anderson said there had been no option, given the extreme weather caused by the remnants of Cyclone Yasi.

"The latest warning from the Bureau of Meteorology included heavy rains, damaging winds and flash flooding for the township of Alice Springs," Anderson said on Friday.

"We now have no choice but to cancel the match.

"While this will be a disappointment to fans, we must put the welfare of players and spectators first."

An AFL spokesman said there was no chance of organising another Indigenous All Stars fixture this year, but the league remained firmly committed to what had been a biennial event since 2003.

"We'll certainly look to schedule more Indigenous All Star games in the Northern Territory but we won't be able to play one this year," he said.

The AFL will still stage a pre-season practice match between sides eliminated from the NAB Cup in Alice Springs in late February and two home and away games in Darwin.

Richmond football general manager Craig Cameron said it was a "pretty good call" to cancel the match, given the conditions.

He said it would not have too much impact on the club's preparation for the season, but would be a blow to the many players who had limited or no AFL experience in the squad Richmond was fielding.

"It was a good opportunity for them to get on a plane and travel and play," Cameron said.

"(Coach Damien Hardwick) has thrown down the challenge to some of them to put their hand up for round one, so it was a minor setback from that respect, but not in terms of the conditioning."

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