Statement: 2022 AFL New Zealand Premiership

Following the Government announcement of the shift to the red setting of New Zealand’s Covid-19 management framework and the continued risks posed to sporting events due to Covid and the Omicron variant, AFL New Zealand has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2022 Men’s and Women’s Premiership competitions.

The competition was scheduled to start on February 13th 2022, in Auckland and spanning over an 8-week period which involving players travelling from eight regions around the country.

With case numbers continuing to rise around the country and particularly in Auckland where the Premiership is based during February, our amateur athletes are faced with work place advice and requests that add pressure to participation commitment.

The current status of  the national vaccination booster programme still rolling out is also a consideration.

AFL New Zealand CEO Robert Vanstam said the decision was a hard one to make, but the safety of the AFL community must come first.

“AFL New Zealand has a duty of care to its players and staff ensuring their safety is our number one priority. In addition to the health risk, we have considered the possibility and implications of self-isolation away from home.”

AFL New Zealand staff are actively working to provide alternative solutions and formats on how to bring football events to the community in safe and manageable environments.

For up to date information on Covid-19, head to