Baker outed for three games for kicking - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Baker outed for three games for kicking

By Adam Cooper 08/07/2003 08:45:42 PM Comments (0)

St Kilda midfielder Steven Baker claims to have kicked an opponent to relieve himself of pain but it was the Saint who suffered the consequences when he was suspended for three games by the AFL tribunal.

Baker did not dispute his blatant kick to the leg of Essendon's Steven Alessio last Friday night, but said it was a reflex action to try and move the 107kg ruckman off his left foot.

Alessio said he did not realise he had planted his foot on Baker's and the Saint, who suffered bruising and swelling and played the game out in discomfort, said kicking was his only option of freeing his foot.

"There might have been (another way) but it would been a couple of seconds and I couldn't wait that long, I wanted to get him off straight away," Baker told the tribunal.

"It was pretty excruciating because (Alessio) was on top of the bone on the top of my ankle and it hurt.

"I just did the first thing ... it was an instant reaction, there was no malice there. I just wanted him off my foot."

Adelaide and the Kangaroos were also dealt blows, with Crows forward Ian Perrie and Roos star Brent Harvey each suspended for one game for striking.

Despite the unusual circumstances of Baker's report, tribunal chairman Brian Collis, QC, said kicking was a serious offence and that AFL players had to set an example to juniors.

"We accept your reason but it is not justifiable," he told Baker.

St Kilda will decide whether to appeal the verdict.

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