Port Adelaide was today informed by the AFL that no AFL player is permitted to play in a second tier competition in 2020 under the industry’s return to play protocols.

This ruling applies to all clubs across the AFL competition.

As a result of this ruling Port Adelaide will not participate in the SANFL in 2020.

Port Adelaide chief executive Keith Thomas said the club was disappointed with this outcome but understanding of the health precautions taken by the AFL.

“It is very disappointing to not have Port Adelaide participate in the SANFL competition this season, especially given it is our 150th anniversary,” Mr Thomas said.

“We are a foundation club of the SANFL and proud of this heritage. We look forward to continuing that legacy in the SANFL in 2021.

“However, the AFL have made it clear that for health and safety reasons we need to restrict the number of people our players interact with and competing in another competition opens that up significantly.

“We respect that view and completely support the need to protect our players from transmission of COVID-19. It is unfortunate, but it’s a necessary measure to protect our people.”

Mr Thomas stressed the club was preparing to return to the SANFL next season.

“The Magpies are an integral fabric of our football club and we will do everything in our power to ensure we return to the status quo in 2021.

“We signed a 15-year agreement at the end of 2013 to participate in the SANFL and we intend to honour that agreement.”