Fear of AFL star Harley Bennell after his career ended when he broke COVID-19 rules in Queensland – where he remains despite orders to leave the state eight days ago
- Harley Bennell remains in Queensland, despite orders from the AFL to leave
- The 27-year-old violated the COVID-19 return from the competition to play safety protocols
- The Melbourne Demons player fell out on Monday after his breakthrough
- Demon officials are working to get Bennell a flight back to his family in Perth
Friends and family are concerned about AFL star Harley Bennell’s wellbeing after he announced his retirement following a COVID-19 breach.
The Melbourne Demons player was ordered to leave Queensland after leaving the club bubble to visit an ‘unapproved building’ in Maroochydore on September 19.
The 27-year-old retired on Monday after the incident, while the Demons were fined $ 50,000.
Despite his orders from the AFL, Bennell has stayed on the Gold Coast with friends while the Demons try to organize his flight to Perth.
AFL star Harley Bennell (pictured with girlfriend Amy Crellin) stays in Queensland despite AFL telling him to leave
Bennell’s partner and child left the state in the days following his transgression, the Herald Sun reported.
Melbourne CEO Gary Pert said Bennell’s actions were selfish and a “ clear violation ” of the AFL’s COVID-19 protocols.
“He made a very bad decision, which is incredibly disappointing,” said Pert.
“Not only has he endangered himself, his teammates and the competition, but he has failed to live up to the Melbourne Football Club’s values.”
Pert apologized for the midfielder’s behavior, saying the club accepted the $ 50,000 fine.
Upon learning of a possible violation, the Demons immediately notified the AFL, which investigated the matter.
The 27-year-old (pictured in action for Th Demons) violated the AFL’s COVID-19 return to play security protocols to visit an ‘unapproved property’ in Maroochydore on September 19
Andrew Dillon, AFL’s General Counsel, said the AFL’s protocols are the league’s license to play and anyone who violates these rules will be held accountable.
“Harley knew the rules and could have endangered his club and competition on the eve of a final campaign,” Dillon said.
The midfielder and former number 2 concept pick took to social media to spend time on his 88-game rollercoaster, which began at Gold Coast in 2011.
Posting a photo on Instagram of himself in a jersey at all three of his AFL clubs – the Suns, Fremantle and the Demons – Bennell said it had been the ‘best 10 years of my life’.
Thank you to everyone involved. It was a great ride, ”Bennell wrote.
Bennell began his AFL career with the Gold Coast Suns (pictured), where he enjoyed a breakout season in 2012
Bennell looked poised to earn a new contract with the club for the indiscretion after playing five games in his first season in Melbourne.
Injuries kept him at just two games in a four-year period with Fremantle, and he left the Dockers in July 2019.
Melbourne acknowledged Bennell’s retirement by posting on social media, ‘I wish you all the best for the future, Harley’.
Bennell played his best football with the Suns and enjoyed a breakout season in 2012 when he finished second in the best and fairest club behind Gary Ablett Jnr.
Disciplinary issues caused him to fall out of favor with Gold Coast and he was traded to Fremantle at the end of the 2015 season.
Bennell (pictured with girlfriend Amy Crellin) announced his retirement on Monday in the wake of his COVID breach
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