AFL to discuss incorrect Eagles penalty - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL to discuss incorrect Eagles penalty

By Roger Vaughan and Justin Chadwick 25/05/2008 05:27:33 PM Comments (0)

The AFL's embarrassing mistake in penalising West Coast for their interchange slip-up has created a quandary for the league.

They now must decide how to handle Saturday night's 50m penalty and resulting goal.

"We will discuss it at tomorrow's football operations meeting, because they have been given the harsher penalty," an AFL spokesman said.

Adelaide were gifted a free kick and a 50-metre penalty when Eagles second-gamer Ryan Davis stepped out of the holding pen before substituted team-mate Tim Houlihan entered it during the final quarter of West Coast's 50-point win at Subiaco Oval.

Under the controversial new rules, West Coast, who still only had 18 men on the field, should have only received a $5000 fine for the minor indiscretion.

Crows ruckman Ivan Maric kicked a goal from the free kick, although it mattered little to the final result, with the Eagles already holding a match-winning lead.

West Coast were the first team to be penalised under the new interchange rules.

"All I know is from the feedback I've been given so far is someone made an error and gave a free kick where it shouldn't be given," Worsfold said.

"A free kick and a 50-metre penalty is for a major sanction, which I think is for running on the ground before your team-mate's off, and our player wasn't on the ground.

"So whether we get that goal back, I don't know. I'd like to ask for it. Luckily it didn't have any impact on the game."

Worsfold said he was concerned an officiating bungle relating to the new rule could end up deciding the outcome of a match.

"That's the question I'd like to ask ... if they say we are going to pay a free kick and a 50-metre penalty against you and you know yourself they are wrong, how can you stop that happening?" Worsfold said.

"Because it's a massive penalty if it's wrong, going from whatever the sanction is to a free kick and a 50-metre penalty.

"That's one of the teething problems that will get sorted out no doubt.

"We just have to make sure the wrong sanction's not applied, especially in close games or big games."

Sydney coach Paul Roos, a strong critic of how the revised interchange system operates, was again critical on Sunday.

"It is embarrassing for the game if you're going to have a focus on the interchange," he told Fairfax Radio.

Roos stressed he was "fine" with the new penalties, but questioned why the league had not done something about the interchange system in the off season.

The league acted after Sydney had 19 men on the field near the end of the round-six draw with North Melbourne at Telstra Dome.

Sydney received a $50,000 fine for the error, with half the penalty suspended.

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