Tanking happens, says Aker - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Tanking happens, says Aker

17/06/2008 08:20:23 PM Comments (0)

The AFL have their "head in the sand" if they think tanking does not happen, according to outspoken Western Bulldogs utility Jason Akermanis.

On the same day that Fremantle coach Mark Harvey called on the league to removed the "slur" of tanking speculation from the game, Akermanis said the practice of trying to lose games to maximise draft picks happened.

"In my opinion, I think it does (happen), it's very difficult to prove," Akermanis told Melbourne radio station SEN.

"How they get away with it is the players know nothing, of course, they're competitors - coaches get away with it with mismatches, simple as that.

"I don't really want to tell you how I know that, but I do know that.

"If the AFL think it's not happening ... they have put their head in the sand."

Akermanis was also acutely aware of the furore that engulfed former Carlton assistant coach Tony Liberatore earlier this year.

Liberatore backed down after alleging the Blues had tanked towards the end of last season and Akermanis said he had no concrete proof.

"May I say, I don't know if it happens for sure, but I'm sure if you look at all the factors ...," Akermanis said.

Akermanis wants the league to introduce a lottery system for draft picks, to remove the temptation to tank.

"I've seen sides win the last game of the year and destroy a chance to get a priority pick and you'd want to see the crap that's caused in clubs," he said.

"I think it can happen, I think it has happened, will it happen in the future? You'd be silly to think it won't.

"The main problem is, it's more attractive to lose, simple as that."

He also said the imminent arrival of the Gold Coast and western Sydney teams in the competition would highlight the tanking issue even more.

"This year, of all years, it's probably going to be even worse because the talent pool then gets taken away after this year, in the sense of what they (lower clubs) can get," he said.

"Man, there can be some lean years coming up."

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