The term grey area is slowly becoming a part of every football fan’s rolling vocabulary with sanctions and interpretations of the rules being under constant scrutiny. AFL fans are struggling to figure out what’s right and wrong.
The current situation is becoming a disgrace and a farce with more attention taken off the players and their remarkable feats.
The somewhat lack of authority by an umpire to make a decision in the heat of the moment is dominating headlines.
The actions of Sydney defender Dane Rampe to climb the post as Essendon player David Myers had a shot to win the game after the siren is deemed illegal. The actions should have resulted in a free kick to Essendon.
The kick was well short of the goal and the shaking had no direct effect on the kick.
No way goal umpire, four boundary umpires and three central umpires could miss this. Obviously decided to not pay it. It’s against the rules. Essendon should appeal the game result. Ridiculous. https://t.co/xTyxQBOnMu
— Dave Hughes (@DHughesy) May 10, 2019
Under AFL rule 17.11, a free kick shall be awarded against a player or official who intentionally shakes a goal or behind post (either before or after a player has disposed of the football).
The umpire didn’t give a free kick to Myers right in front of goal causing a loss to the Bombers. The lack of enforcement of the rule had created an outcry on Twitter.
Rampe had literally climbed half way up the goal post padding when the ball left the boot of Myers for the last kick of the game. Don’t know how it wasn’t a kick at the top of the goalsquare to win the game for Essendon
— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) May 10, 2019
Umpires are slowly losing control of the match and crumbling under the pressure of the big stage and home teams supporter base.
The onfield confusion is making its way down to the match review officer Michael Christian who has had his sanctions lowered or completely thrown out on further inspection by the AFL tribunal.
For non-AFL followers, this is the same as a student swearing in class, and the teacher says you’re expelled but the principal saying well, he didn’t use profanities, so you get to stay in for 10 minutes while the other students go to lunch.
The ongoing concern is that fans and players are struggling to understand what is right and what is wrong in the game.
As a football lover, it would be great to see a week where the interpretations of the rules do not dominate the headlines and there is a clear understanding by players and supporters on what is right and wrong.