Chris Masten and Alex Silvagni Referred to AFL Tribunal
Sports are all in good fun, but sometimes things can get a bit messy. The AFL Tribunal is reviewing two cases with Chris Masten and Alex Silvagni for unneeded aggression and violence. The cases are going to be reviewed by the Match Review Panel, otherwise called the MRP, which will go over the video evidence and player's statements to determine whether or not an incidence occurred and what the punishment will be if it did.
Midfield player Chris Masten was referred to the tribunal after being accused of putting his teeth into Nick Suban on Sunday. This happened during the Western Derby, in which Suban told match officials that he had been bitten by Masten. The pair were wrestling on the ground, and afterwards Suban had bite marks on his arm which he showed to the official. While there wasn't an immediate penalty, match umpires did note the incident and referred it to the MRP for investigation. If charged, it would be counted under misconduct because biting is not a specific offence in the MRP guidelines and so it doesn't have its own category of punishment.
Silvagni was also sent to the tribunal for an incident of his own which was caught on tape. During a contest for the ball, Silvagni can be seen striking Jamie Cripps with his elbow. Cripps was unsuspecting and had no idea the blow was coming, and had no part in actively instigating the attack. The blow hit him right in the face, but he continued to play. West Coast coach Adam Simpson believes that Cripps has a fractured jaw, but it wasn't broken or damaged enough to prevent him from continuing the game. Simpson told reporters that Cripps is pretty sore but is doing well.
On another note, players Nathan Brown of Collingwood and Jack Ziebell of North Melbourne are facing two match suspensions for rough conduct and striking. Both players have the potential to only be given a one game ban instead if they put in an early plea. Brown was charged under rough conduct for hitting up high on Luke Parker. Ziebell's offence was a bit more serious as he knocked Jack Newnes in the head in an intentional strike. By taking an early plea, both players would be forced to give a $1,000 sanction but would avoid one of their two game bans that is preventing them from playing.
If charged, players do have the option to appeal the charge in an attempt to have the penalties knocked off by the AFL. However, the AFL can choose whether or not to look into the appeal and can choose to deny it if they feel that an appeal is not necessary. Once an appeal is denied players will no longer have the option of fighting their case and must accept the punishment from the tribunal. Suspensions are given based off the severity of the offence, and can range from one game to a permanent ban.