Pink creates AFL umpire colour clash - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pink creates AFL umpire colour clash

By Adam Cooper 08/05/2010 12:08:26 AM Comments (0)

Melbourne midfielder Clint Bartram admitted he was confused by a colour clash when he handballed towards an umpire in mistake at a critical juncture of Friday night's AFL game against the Western Bulldogs at the MCG.

Both Melbourne and the umpires wore pink in their strips to raise awareness for breast cancer, but the clash proved decisive when late in the last quarter Bartram handballed towards an umpire thinking he was a teammate.

Melbourne were leading when Bartram handballed into space, but lost possession to the Bulldogs, who won by four points, 10.10 (70) to 9.12 (66).

Bartram confirmed he handballed towards the umpire thinking he was a teammate because he saw the pink top.

"I did think it was a player, he said.

"They had similar socks and similar coloured tops and I just saw the pink and handballed to it. What more can I say?"

Bartram stressed his error was just one incident in a game, but said he and his teammates found the clash confusing.

"To an extent yeah, the same coloured socks doesn't help if you're in a pack and you knock the ball out," he said.

"I can't really say too much. It's for a good cause, but obviously we would have liked it if they weren't so clashing."

In the lead-up to the game Melbourne had advertised the fact they were wearing a pink yoke on their jumper and pink socks in support of Breast Cancer Network Australia.

But the umpires also wore pink shirts and pink socks, with their black shorts.

Melbourne coach Dean Bailey was reluctant to buy into the controversy, but encouraged reporters to ask the AFL for an explanation.

"You need to ask the AFL about the umpires wearing pink shirts," he said.

"We put the game on, we're playing in a pink jumper, you'd have to ask them about the colour of the umpires, not me."

Bailey was unsure whether Melbourne would request an explanation from the league.

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