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Disgraced rules player forced to go home

01/11/2006 05:52:46 AM Comments (0)

A rueful Brendan Fevola has left Australia's International Rules tour of Ireland after being sent home for his involvement in a hotel fight.

The Carlton full-forward left Galway after AFL officials ordered him to return to Australia following the altercation with a barman at a night spot in the city in the early hours of Monday morning.

"I've done the wrong thing by getting him in a headlock, it was pretty stupid," Fevola told reporters in Galway.

"I'm just glad I didn't hit him. I would've been in more trouble if I'd hit him. A lot more trouble.

"It was just a headlock. If I wanted to hit him, I would've hit him."

Irish police interviewed Fevola and are continuing their investigations. They refused to say whether charges would be laid.

"An incident has taken place in a city centre hotel in Galway," a police spokesman said.

"That incident is currently under investigation."

The fact that Fevola was in Dublin waiting to board a flight to London for a connection to Australia suggests he won't be charged.

But the possibility of the 2006 Coleman medallist returning to face charges has not been ruled out.

Fevola, 25, was not selected for Australia's first-match loss to the Irish at Galway on Sunday and became involved in a wrestle with the barman after drinking with teammates.

The unnamed barman gave his account of events to the Irish Daily Mirror under the front-page headline: "Aussie Rules star beat me up."

"He put me in a headlock and thumped me in the face," the barman was quoted as saying.

"He acted like a right thug and was very drunk.

"There was another two drunken players messing around the reception and the young girl on the reception was terrified."

On top of plunging the AFL into embarrassment overseas, Fevola's indiscretion is a major personal blow.

He had stopped drinking alcohol before the 2006 season and claimed his former waywardness was a thing of the past, so much that he put his hand up to captain Carlton next year.

Australia will not fly a replacement player to Ireland for Sunday's second and final match of the series at Dublin's Croke Park.

Carlton chief executive Michael Malouf said the club was not in a position to comment on the incident as it was not aware of all the details.

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