The Alice Springs mayor says the town council won’t be “held hostage” by a threat from the AFL to pull the annual Melbourne Demons match from the town unless it reverses a decision to bar community football.

The dispute began last month when the Alice Springs council announced it would withdraw support for this year’s season of the Central Australian remote football competition amid concerns about crime rates in the town.

The AFL has now said it would have to “review the viability” of holding a round 15 match between the Melbourne Demons and GWS Giants set to be held in June, unless the council changes its mind about the football ban.

Alice Springs mayor Matt Patterson says he won’t be “bullied” into changing his decision and described the move as a “kick in the guts” to the Alice Springs community.

The barring of the football competition from Alice Springs ovals means it’s unlikely the Central Australian league will be able to go ahead, as many remote communities lack suitable infrastructure and sporting fields.