Steward made wrong Eagles call: Gieschen - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Steward made wrong Eagles call: Gieschen

26/05/2008 05:24:54 PM Comments (0)

The AFL have clarified Saturday night's embarrassing interchange blunder, saying an official thought he saw a West Coast player go onto the field too early.

It was assumed that West Coast were given the wrong penalty for a minor indiscretion, when second-gamer Ryan Davis stepped out of the interchange holding pen too early.

The Eagles should have only received a $5,000 fine, but instead Adelaide were paid a free kick and a 50m penalty, which led to a goal.

The gift goal was the first penalty paid under the league's controversial changes to their interchange rules.

AFL umpires director Jeff Gieschen also revealed the interchange steward responsible for the mistake would be "dropped" this week.

"It was quite simply just a basic human error ... I'm disappointed, we're all disappointed, obviously West Coast would be disappointed, but probably no one is more disappointed than our interchange steward himself," Gieschen told Melbourne radio station SEN.

"He was quite adamant at the time that he thought he saw the player step over the boundary line and onto the field of play.

"Our field umpire went with him and just checked, our emergency field umpire said `are you 100 per cent certain this is to be a free kick'?

"He said `yes, he stepped onto the field of play'."

The free and 50m penalty only applied if a team is found to have 19 men on the field.

Gieschen said the steward immediately realised his mistake once he saw a replay of the incident.

"Unfortunately, the replays have showed differently and as soon as he was made aware of it and we showed him the replay, he apologised," Gieschen said.

"Hopefully we all learn a lesson from this and one of the first things we'll do is cut this bit of vision and fire it around to all our interchange stewards and we'll certainly fire it around to all the umpires.

"(We'll) just reinforce to everybody what the exact situation is with that one."

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