Industry News

AFL chief unhappy as the Gabba deemed unfit to stage women’s showpiece

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has expressed his anger after it emerged that the Grand Final of the Aussie rules football league’s women’s competition will not take place at the Gabba cricket ground as planned.

The Gabba (pictured), in Brisbane, has been deemed unfit to host Saturday’s game, which will serve as the finale of the inaugural AFL women’s season.

The game pits the Brisbane Lions against Adelaide, with the former having been due to act as the home team after finishing the regular season top of the table.

The game will now be played at Metricon Stadium on Australia’s Gold Coast after staff at the Gabba opted to re-sow the turf following recent Adele concerts.

McLachlan criticised groundstaff at the Gabba for their lack of foresight. “The stadium has had three weeks to prepare the venue and it’s difficult to process how the venue is not available to showcase this game – the pinnacle of our AFLW season,” he said, according to the Courier-Mail newspaper.

“I feel that it’s either a question of competence or prioritisation. Of course I’m angry. It’s been three weeks. This season has been a remarkable story and journey. Brisbane have finished on top and the Brisbane Lions would like to be playing at the Gabba and it was unavailable.

“Everyone has been very clear that the team that finished top would have the right to play (at home) and we’ve been talking about the Gabba for three weeks.”

The Gabba is due to stage an Ashes Test match in November.

The inaugural season of the AFL Women’s competition, which comprises eight teams, began on February 3.