AFL chief executive Gill McLachlan is confident the historic clash between Gold Coast and Port Adelaide in Shanghai will go ahead successfully, despite concerns about poor air quality.
Suns coach Rodney Eade has flagged the prospect of not selecting players who suffer from respiratory problems due to the threat of smog and forecast hot conditions in China.
“There are a lot of things you can’t control about our game, there are always operational challenges wherever we play the game,” McLachlan said on Monday.
“But there’s nothing that I’m aware of that puts the game at risk.
“Our players and our clubs are resilient if there is something, but I don’t have anything that’s worrying me at the moment.”
Eade said the absence of direct flights from the Gold Coast meant the Suns would spend 20 hours travelling to Shanghai, potentially hampering their preparation for the first match to be played for premiership points outside Australia or New Zealand.
“That smog you talk about, hopefully there are no respiratory problems,” Eade told Triple M.
“We won’t take any players who have asthma or some respiratory problems anyway.”
Eade said the Suns would decide on any team changes on Tuesday for the match in Shanghai on Sunday afternoon.
Both clubs have a bye in round nine to help aid their recovery.
“It’s self-evident that a long trip to Shanghai is more challenging than a domestic trip but both clubs are doing it,” said McLachlan.
“They play each other pretty much on level terms and then they play after a week’s break when they get back.
“Both clubs are broadly happy with it, albeit that it’s more challenging than a normal game.
” … whatever the conditions are, I know they’ll be the same for both teams.”