Call for AFL tribunal shake-up - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Call for AFL tribunal shake-up

By Adam Cooper and Robert Grant 01/05/2003 07:45:20 PM Comments (0)

AFL players and coaches want a radical shake-up of the league's tribunal system after a string of inconsistent results this season.

AFL Players Association chief executive Rob Kerr has confirmed players want to be involved in a review of the tribunal system at the end of the year.

Players have never been involved in a review of the league judiciary, but have been stung into action by a series of player-umpire collisions and other inconsistencies.

"In the past we've only been invited to give a submission, but it is important for the legitimacy of the tribunal if the players are involved in a review process," Kerr told AAP.

That call follows that of Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse and Brisbane coach Leigh Matthews, who both urged for change.

The Magpies, reeling at the one-game suspension of defender Shane Wakelin for making contact with an umpire, want the AFL to place the decision to charge players in the hands of one person instead of umpires.

Wakelin, Carlton's Bret Thornton and Hawthorn's Peter Everitt have all been suspended this season for umpire contact, while Saint Nick Riewoldt escaped penalty after field umpire Michael Vozzo decided against laying charges.

"I think that we just have to have a system in place that takes away the doubts," Malthouse said.

"I have no fear that if you have a one-person position, to judge on all aspects of reported matters ... it takes it totally away from the umpire, from the umpires' coach and we have consistency."

Matthews said greater use should be made of enhanced video footage, both to help umpires sort accidental bumps from reckless contact and in players' defences.

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