‘You’re losing the fans’: Action demanded after ‘whistle fest’, reports of mass ejection in Dreamtime chaos

Former AFL player David King has urged the league to correct the rising number of paid free throws during games, after a ‘whistle fest’ marred a thrilling game between Hawthorn and Brisbane on Sunday afternoon.

Fans and media alike have united in condemning the free-kick-heavy game in Launceston, in which 63 free-kicks (36-27 Hawthorn-wise) were paid, the most in a game since 2012.

Talking at Fox Footy’s first crackKing described some of the calls made as “just ridiculous”, and said the AFL must step in to reverse a crackdown on referee dissent and prohibited off-the-ball contact.

“We’ve lost our way with arbitration right now,” King said.

“It’s causing a lot of angst among the fans and I think now also on club ground… We really have no idea what a 50m penalty is with dissent; we are really lost with the basic arbitration decisions now.

“Some of the free kick goals today were just ridiculous. I am not referring to the referees, I mean if they are the ones who make the decisions above them.

“Whether it’s because of the guidance they receive, from the commission down, let’s put everything there, not [just] the absolute arbiter.

“It has to come from Brad Scott [AFL football boss] and dan richardson [AFL head of umpiring] – it has to come from those guys… ‘we’ve gone too far, we’re going back.’ And tell us: we’re pretty lenient, we want to get our game back.

“Right now, there are too many whistles. We had almost a record today, and free kick goals are through the roof.

“The game was a whistle-fest today and you just can’t have that. It’s just disgusting to watch: let the players solve the game.”

Among the more controversial decisions were paid free throws against stars Lachie Neale and Tom Mitchell for prohibited contact, with Neale retaliating for a shove from opponent Jai Newcombe, and Mitchell shoving Lion Jaxon Prior in the back after the ball went out. out of limits. Both free kicks went on to lead directly to goals.

King wasn’t just disappointed in the Hawks-Lions game, though, with a controversial 50-meter penalty for referee dissent in Friday night’s Carlton-Sydney game against Swan Chad Warner.

The crackdown on dissent has caused consternation throughout the year, and King said the rule is a prime example of a “major issue” at the highest level.

“That’s not dissent, it’s just not trying with the referee. And if the referee thinks that it is, then we have a big problem,” he said.

“I think you’re losing the fans with this, and that’s a dangerous place to be. The fans have lost control of their game now and have started talking with their feet.”

Crowds have noticeably dwindled in the AFL this season, with the league unveiling a midweek plan to allow kids as young as 14 to enter games between the 14th and 17th rounds for free.

Longmuir laments ‘reality check’ in Dockers’ upset loss to Pies

Fremantle manager Justin Longmuir admits his team failed to properly adjust to wet conditions for the second week in a row, in an upset 36-point loss to Collingwood on Sunday.

After a shock loss to the Gold Coast in the rain last week, the Dockers met the Magpies again in a heavily congested game, scoring just six goals, including just one in the second and third quarters combined.

It means the Dockers, who entered the fortnight second in the standings, have scored a combined ten goals in the last two weeks, with Longmuir describing their problem as “a mental thing”.

“The players read the conditions too much and that affects their games too much, especially with the ball in hand,” he said after the match.

“Whether it’s because of the actual conditions or because we think it’s wetter than it is or drier than it is, I think in the second quarter we just fueled his forward play and fueled his field position.

“We turned the ball around in really poor areas looking for things that in the conditions weren’t available, and then when it dried up, we continued to play wet weather soccer when they played dry weather soccer.

“We got caught up in the middle with our ball movement and clearly couldn’t score or keep the ball in our front half after the first quarter.”

Having emerged as one of the season’s storylines with six straight wins between rounds 3 and 8, Longmuir said the final fortnight would serve as a “reality check” for his still-developing Dockers.

“We were riding high, and everyone was getting ahead of me,” he said.

“If you get marginally ahead of yourself in football, it gives you a reality check, and we’ve done that.

“If you mess up somewhere, you get what you deserve. So it’s a reality check for us.”

Police officers allegedly bitten during MCG mass ejection

Victoria Police allege that more than 50 fans were ejected from the MCG during Saturday night’s Dreamtime at the ‘G.

The allegations include reports of officers being bitten and beaten, with Inspector Jamie Templeton blaming the rise in violence on “pre-charging” alcohol before the match.

“Tens of thousands of football fans attend games every week and the vast majority support their team and enjoy the atmosphere in a safe and responsible way, so it was disappointing to see so many spectators behaving in a disruptive way last night,” he said.

“We saw what appeared to be higher levels of alcohol use and aggression. Pre-game alcohol ‘preloading’ was noted to be significant in contributing to more incidents of crowd misbehavior than usual.

“Police, Melbourne Cricket Club and the licensee work together to control alcohol consumption on the pitch, including reducing the availability of alcohol. Responsible alcohol service is actively monitored and supported by the police at liquor outlets.”

The herald sun they also report that a man was brutally attacked by a group of youths and beaten with a didgeridoo outside the field after the match.

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