Eddie McGuire's brutal swipe at soccer in 'cheap shots' rant

Andrew Reid
·4-min read
Seen here, Eddie McGuire speaking on Fox Sports' AFL coverage.
Eddie McGuire wants the AFL to try and stamp out cheap shots in the game. Pic: Fox Sports

Cheap shots have been a hot topic in the AFL this week and Eddie McGuire has dished out one of his own on a rival football code.

The Collingwood president has joined a growing number of voices in the AFL community in urging officials to stamp out the unsavoury practice that has reared its head again this week.

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Richmond's Tom Lynch and Melbourne's Aaron vandenBerg were both involved in aggressive off-the-ball incidents that have been condemned by viewers.

Lynch was charged with misconduct against Lions defender Alex Witherden during the first quarter of the Tigers' resounding 41-point victory at Metricon Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Tigers big man outraged viewers after shoving Witherden's head into the turf, directly after a tackle on the Brisbane defender.

Lynch's questionable act drew criticism from many in the AFL community, with AFL greats Nick Riewoldt and Warren Tredrea among those pleading with officials to clamp down on cheap shots.

However, an early guilty plea and a $500 sanction will see Lynch escape suspension for his ugly act.

Speaking on Fox Footy on Wednesday night, McGuire said a fine simply wasn't sufficient if the AFL are serious about stamping out what he called the "antithesis of everything that Australian rules football is" about.

“He (Lynch) uses $500 as kindling for his open fire,” McGuire told Fox Footy.

McGuire goes on tirade about ugly acts

“I mean, seriously, if you’re going to stop that, there’s only one way. I keep saying this and I said it last week – and I’ll get into trouble for it again here – but you’ve got to have a fair dinkum penalty.”

“If you want to get rid of it, it’s a week. If you want to have everyone do what we always do in football – and that is go hard and then do nothing – then we’ll just keep going and it’ll keep going.

“Fines are useless.”

The Collingwood supremo then took aim at soccer after a tongue-in-cheek question from Kangaroos legend David King about whether his views would be the same if a Magpies player was at the centre of the controversy.

Pictured here, Eddie McGuire reacted angrily to a cheap shot in Wednesday night's game between Richmond and Melbourne.
Eddie McGuire is fed up with the taunting in the AFL. Image: Fox Footy/Getty

"I get sick of hearing this stuff, because I say things, I put them up to the AFL then the AFL makes the decision,” McGuire said.

"We’re suddenly in prime time in Queensland and we go ‘what’s all this stuff? That’s not Australian rules football.’ And then, you have a look and blokes are diving on the ground now.

“So everything we hated about soccer, we’re bringing into the game. We’ve got blokes diving, we’ve got little cheap shots – that’s not what our game’s about. So if you want to knock it on the head, knock it on the head.

“Now if our guys (Collingwood players), do it (on Thursday) night, they’ll say ‘oh he’s a hypocrite’ again. No, I’m straight up. I was straight up right from the word go of what should happen.”

King and McGuire both agreed that taunting opposition players or giving them a cheap shot when they make a mistake is a bad look for the game, with the former saying it's up to the coaches to eradicate the practice.

“There’s only one component of our game that’s going to stamp that out, it’s the coaches,” King said.

“If the coach says ‘Hey, listen, you just cost us a goal’, I guarantee you through selection and those sorts of things they’ll correct it pretty quick.”