The Australian Football Federation announced that it has reached an agreement with the players to reduce up to 70% of their profits, with the aim of ensuring the survival of this sport, the most popular in the country, during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Australian Football League (AFL), whose matches can rally up to 100,000 fans, suspended its season last week, after the dispute on matchday one.

Those responsible then assured that it was the worst threat since the creation of the sport in 1896.

Faced with the risk of losing money from television broadcasts, sponsors and ticket sales, the players – some earning more than a million dollars (552,000 euros) per season – have decided to accept a drastic reduction in salary.

Following the agreement between the AFL and the players’ association, the latter will receive 50% of their salary at the end of May and only 30% if the suspension continues beyond this date.

In the event that the championship returns, players will receive half of their usual salary.

“The players have understood the gravity of the situation and have accepted the significant reduction of their salary, with the aim of ensuring the operation of the industry,” said AFL President Gillon McLachlan.

Australian football is played primarily with the foot and an oval ball, opposing two teams of 18 players, in an oval stadium or on a cricket ground.