AFL warns ump bumpers - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL warns ump bumpers

07/05/2003 06:21:41 AM Comments (0)

AFL tribunal chair Brian Collis has warned players found deliberately pushing opponents into umpires could face charges themselves.

Collis, QC, said "someone might have to look at" the umpire-contact law after Western Bulldogs ruckman Luke Darcy was found not guilty of making contact with an umpire after successfully arguing he was pushed by an opponent.

Darcy said he was pushed off balance by St Kilda's Justin Koschitzke and into the line of umpire Justin Schmitt in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game at Telstra Dome.

While stressing Koschitzke's push was accidental, Darcy said he had no room other than to make slight contact with Schmitt, who was backing away from his bounce.

"I definitely wouldn't be sitting here tonight if I wasn't pushed," Darcy told the tribunal.

Darcy became the first player to be cleared of making contact with an umpire this season after Hawthorn's Peter Everitt, Collingwood's Shane Wakelin and Carlton's Bret Thornton all copped one-game suspensions.

Collis said the tribunal accepted Darcy had been pushed and warned players to be careful of pushing opponents either into an umpire or into their line.

"If players do deliberately push opponents, they themselves may be guilty under an offence," Collis said.

Darcy, voted the game's best player in 2002 by his peers, is now available to play in the Bulldogs' round seven game against Fremantle.

Darcy, later fined $5,000 for his part in the quarter-time melee on Sunday, left the tribunal without commenting.

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