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Andrew Abdo on COVID-19 vaccine mandate, AFL introduce vaccination policy


NRL CEO Andrew Abdo has confirmed it’s not the NRL’s “approach as a governing body to mandate” a COVID-19 vaccination policy for the competition.

Abdo’s stance comes after the AFL today confirmed it would enforce a vaccination policy for AFL and AFLW players, as well as club staff.

The AFL became the first top-level sport in Australia to introduce a vaccine mandate.

While the Canterbury Bulldogs recently made headlines by informing players of the club’s expectation for them to get vaccinated, Abdo said the NRL isn’t looking into making that a requirement for the competition.

But after Victoria recently announced that all professional athletes must be vaccinated to continue playing in the state, which would affect the Melbourne Storm and any clubs they host, the NRL CEO admitted health orders may overrule the competition.

“Clearly we need to make sure we have continuity to the competition, and we are creating a safe working environment,” Abdo told Channel 7.

“We are busy working on the protocols for the players who are vaccinated and the players that are not vaccinated. Hopefully, we are talking about a very small group of players (not vaccinated).

“They will have, I’d imagine, some pretty rigorous requirements around what they will be able to do in order to train and play.

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“Of course this might be taken out of our hands by health orders or by airlines, so there will be repercussions for those that don’t choose to be vaccinated but it’s not our approach as a governing body to mandate it.

“Between now and the end of the off-season we will have a very clear set of guidelines for how the clubs and players can get back to training safely for those who are vaccinated and those who aren’t yet vaccinated.”

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