AFL boss Laura Kane comes clean in eye-opening confession amid Jack Ginnivan furore

The Hawthorn player wasn't paid a number of free kicks he should have been against Geelong.

The AFL's executive general manager of football Laura Kane has revealed she contacted Hawthorn to let them know a number of calls involving Jack Ginnivan were missed on Monday. Controversy erupted around Ginnivan in the traditional Easter Monday clash between the Hawks and Cats after the umpires failed to call a number of high tackles.

Ginnivan is known to duck into tackles at times in an attempt to win free kicks, and the umpires appeared gun-shy in regards to calling them on Monday. But a number of high tackles were blatantly ignored, and Kane admitted as much on Tuesday.

Laura Kane, pictured here alongside Jack Ginnivan and Sam Mitchell in the AFL.
AFL boss Laura Kane contacted Hawthorn to admit Jack Ginnivan should have been paid a number of free kicks he wasn't. Image: Getty

Speaking after Hawthorn's 36-point loss to Geelong, Hawks coach Sam Mitchell said he would contact the AFL for a please explain. But Kane got on the front foot on Tuesday and got in touch with Hawthorn first.

Speaking to reporters, Kane revealed she contacted Hawthorn head of football Rob McCartney to admit the umpires missed a number of calls. "There was a lot of commentary. We review every incident, we are looking for MRO or umpiring coaching" Kane said.

"We've assessed all tackles or contests that involved Jack Ginnivan. It is fair to say that a couple of those weren't officiated correctly and we missed a few. We've spoken to Hawthorn and reiterated as we did in 2022 to all clubs that we don't want players to lead with their head. What I want to be really clear on is we don't have a different set of rules for a player; we don't have a different set of rules for a club or a team; we officiate our games all the same way within the rules."

Jack Ginnivan, pictured here being contacted high in Hawthorn's clash with Geelong.
Jack Ginnivan was contacted high a number of times in Hawthorn's clash with Geelong. (AAPIMAGE)

Controversy erupts over AFL umpiring of Jack Ginnivan

AFL fans and commentators were left fuming over how the umpires handled incidents with Ginnivan on Monday. “That’s twice he’s been clearly tackled around the head,” Brian Taylor said on Channel 7. “I don't think he bent at the knees until he was clearly tackled around the head. I reckon he’s deserved a couple today he hasn’t got.

“It’s been remarkable. There’s been at least three, possibly five today against Ginnivan they have not paid simply because of the history. He can consider himself very unlucky today.”

David King said on Fox Footy: “There’s been 11 high tackles paid today, and just by sheer coincidence the two Jack are involved in are a no-call. He’s gone from 21 (high tackle free kicks) in 2022 to four last year to one so far this year.

“They have two sets of rules. It’s as simple as that. The guy with the long sleeves gets nothing. Eleven today and none to Jack, I think the case rests.”


Jason Dunstall and Leigh Montagna pointed out that Ginnivan may have brought the situation on himself by 'staging' for free kicks in the past. “I think it’s difficult for the umpires now, especially when as soon as you see the arm come up from a player, you think he’s shrugging," Dunstall said on Fox Footy.

Montagna added: “If he kept his arm down, he would have got paid those two free kicks. But because he continues to lift his arm, the umpires are instructed not to pay them.”

Hawthorn champion Luke Hodge said: “I hope the umpires go through and have a look at a couple of those. Yes he has faked those in the past, but there’s been a decent number of legit ones they haven’t paid.”