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AFLW ends without a premier as pandemic forces shutdown

“There are no winners today,” AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said after making the hard call to put a stop to the finals.

“We would have loved to finish it.”

Final siren: Carlton's Sarah Hosking in action during the AFLW semi-final clash against Brisbane Lions on Sunday, before the decision was announced to cancel all further games.

Final siren: Carlton’s Sarah Hosking in action during the AFLW semi-final clash against Brisbane Lions on Sunday, before the decision was announced to cancel all further games.Credit:Getty Images

McLachlan said the commission did discuss crowning a premier considering Fremantle were undefeated, but felt it wouldn’t be a fair outcome due to teams facing different opponents in the two-conference system.

“It was discussed whether it would be the minor premier, there was a leader [Fremantle] or whether you could do a ranking with percentage but in the end it would have been all contrived,” McLachlan said.

“There were a range of discussions but there are much bigger things at play at the moment.”

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West Australia plans to close its borders on Tuesday and make anyone who comes back to the state go into 14 days isolation which also ended any hope of Fremantle hosting the home preliminary final they deserved.

AFLW contracts also run out at the end of April making it near impossible to resume the season should the AFL be able to start playing again after May 31 which is the current aim.

North Melbourne coach Scott Gowans said on Saturday he would accept whatever was decided but he hoped someone would be awarded the premiership.

Harford said his players would accept whatever happened.

“From a footy prospective you would love to keep going but there are bigger things in life,” Harford said.

“We love footy. We are passionate about footy, and our girls are just brilliant at the moment and I’d love to see them get more out of it.”

Lions coach Craig Starcevich said this season may end up forever undecided.

“It would be nice to have one [a premier] but right now there are bigger fish to fry in terms of what is going on,” Starcevich said.

“Every competition wants to have some closure and to work out who was the best team but this year might just have to have the asterisk next to it.

“It’s unfortunate but there are bigger problems for all of us to face than what’s going on in our competition.”

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