AFL defends replay but review to come - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL defends replay but review to come

By Sam Lienert 26/09/2010 11:16:28 AM Comments (0)

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou has defended the league's policy of replaying a drawn grand final but says it will come under review.

Collingwood captain Nick Maxwell and St Kilda coach Ross Lyon both expressed a preference to play extra time after their two clubs played out just the third drawn grand final in VFL/AFL history on Saturday.

Instead they will return next Saturday to decide the premiership, with extra time to be used if another draw is played out.

While Lyon said his initial feeling that extra time should have been played was instinctive, rather than a firm view, Maxwell was livid immediately after the final siren.

The Magpies skipper said it was "an absolute joke" that the two clubs had to return next Saturday.

But Demetriou said on Sunday the AFL hierarchy were proud of the unique nature of their code and of not following the lead of other sports, such as soccer.

"Of course there was a strange feeling after the game but it would have been even more strange and hollow for a team that loses after extra time," Demetriou said.

"I think we've all seen the lack of satisfaction from a World Cup or major game that's decided on penalties.

"The premier team this week can reasonably say it's one of the great teams of all time."

Demetriou said given there have been only 146 drawn games since the VFL started in 1897, and three in grand finals, there was no cause for a knee-jerk reaction.

He said the 100,016 spectators in attendance on Saturday witnessed "one of the most memorable grand finals in the history of our game".

"As we sit here, we are not of a mind to changing the rules, we don't change rules as a knee-jerk reaction to something that's happened yesterday," Demetriou said.

"I'm sure that at a point in time the AFL executive and commission will review and consider all of its options but I remind everybody that it is a unique nature of the game.

"We all went into yesterday's game understanding that one of the options was a draw, it wasn't a new rule ... and it was one of the great experiences to be part of."

Demetriou said next week's replay would have more members of the competing clubs present than any previous grand final, given there will be less corporate tickets sold.

He said the competing clubs and players would also be financially compensated by the AFL for having to play again.

He predicted a "very low-key" grand final week the second time around, with considerably fewer functions, including no parade on Friday.

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