AFL team boss make a case for vaccinations


Unvaccinated fans are banned from NFL games Image: MCG

Tony Shepherd, Chairman of the Australian Football League (AFL) team GWS Giants and Venues NSW, has called for unvaccinated fans to be banned from AFL games.

The ‘Australasian Leisure Management’ stated that repeating comments he made last month about unvaccinated fans not being allowed into stadiums, Shepherd said he has been encouraging Giants players and officials to get inoculated.

The Australian Football League (AFL) is the pre-eminent and only fully professional men’s competition of Australian Rules football. Through the AFL Commission, the AFL also serves as the sport’s governing body and is responsible for controlling the laws of the game.

The Greater Western Sydney Football Club, nicknamed the ‘Giants’, and commonly referred to as the GWS Giants, is a professional Australian Rules football club based in Sydney Olympic Park, which represents the Greater Western Sydney region of New South Wales and Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT).

Venues NSW is a New South Wales (NSW) Government agency incorporated under the Sporting Venues Authorities Act to manage a portfolio of sports and entertainment venues in Australia.

Tony Shepherd is an Australian businessman. He is currently the Chair of the Boards of the Greater Western Sydney Giants, the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association and the Sydney Cricket Ground and Sports Ground Trust.

The ‘Australasian Leisure Management’ further stated that with NSW marking the halfway point to the 80 percent vaccination mark for adults as of September 5th, Shepherd stated, “I’m a firm believer in vaccinations being required for people to attend events. Whether that is at restaurants, bars, sporting events, hospitality or getting on planes or going overseas. I see it as the answer … we are certainly promoting it at the Giants.”

Shepherd predicted that the AFL will soon ramp-up its messaging around vaccinations after the industry was chastised for not advocating the jab enough, “I think they have, they are ramping it up quite solidly. I have been out very strongly encouraging it both with my Giants and Venues NSW hats on.”

He also pointed out that GWS Giants “players have been on advertisements for the Ministry of Health and Ministry for Sport in NSW encouraging people to get vaccinated. We see it as the solution to getting on with life.”

As for how fans would prove they had been vaccinated, he suggested that the ‘passport type technology would have to be “convenient”, noting “you have it on your iPhone, it’s a QR code that shows proof of identity that you have had your shots. It has to be as simple as that … you want it to be simple and easy to use and I don’t think that is beyond the wit of modern technology to do.”

Suggesting that the technology could be linked to ticketing systems, he concluded, “It has to be simple and practical, I would like to see it linked to the ticketing system. So you don’t get a ticket until you have proven that you are vaccinated. We will see what the Government will do in establishing something, but other countries are doing it … it’s not that hard.”

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