AFL will appeal against tribunal decision to clear Carlton’s Charlie and Ed Curnow over umpire contact
The AFL will appeal against the controversial decision by the tribunal to clear two Carlton players of making intentional contact with an umpire.
The decision follows a fortnight of debate over the rules regarding contact with on-field officials.
On Tuesday night, both Charlie and Ed Curnow of the Blues were found not guilty of intentional contact with an umpire but guilty of the lesser charge of making careless contact.
Each were fined $1,000 but will be available to play against Melbourne on Sunday.
Ed Curnow placed an open hand on umpire Nathan Williamson during Carlton’s match against Essendon on Saturday, in what appeared to be a dismissive gesture as Williamson was talking to the midfielder.
Curnow’s brother Charlie touched Matt Stevic and pushed him away from a scuffle that broke out between a group of players.
In another case brought before the tribunal this week, Gold Coast co-captain Steven May was fined $1,000 for making contact with an umpire, successfully arguing it was careless rather than intentional.
May was trying to argue his case after David Harris awarded a free kick against the defender, and touched the umpire as he tried to demonstrate what he had done.
The decisions have caused controversy, given the decision to ban Geelong forward Tom Hawkins for a week for making intentional contact with an umpire.
The AFL had until midday on Wednesday to decide whether to challenge the decisions, and the league confirmed soon after the deadline that it would appeal against the cases relating to the Curnows.
In a statement, the league’s general manager of football operations, Steve Hocking said the AFL had appealed both sanctions on the grounds that no Tribunal acting reasonably could have come to that decision given the evidence before it, and that the sanctions imposed were manifestly inadequate.
The appeals will be held at 3:00pm AEST on Thursday.