AFL boss Gillon McLachlan has fronted the media and admitted the controversial umpiring call that cost the Adelaide Crows in their clash against the Swans was a 'mistake'. The Swans won the game against the Crows 74-73, but the showdown ended in controversy after the goal umpire awarded a behind rather than a goal from a Ben Keays shot.
A goal would have handed the Crows the win, but the umpire opted not to send the behind up for review despite a very close call. Replays showed the ball did not appear to touch the post and a goal should have been awarded.
Adelaide fans have been incensed at the decision, which cost them the game. And McLachlan front the media on Sunday morning to confirm that there were two errors in the moment that cost the Crows a goal.
“There was a goal umpiring decision that should have been reviewed – and that was a mistake,” he said of the incident. “I want to say conclusively that if the decision had been reviewed, it would have been overturned and it would have been a goal.
“It’s a human error that happens repeatedly through games and across the course of the year. But this is an error that, given the context and the moment was of great consequence, I want to acknowledge that was a mistake and want to take accountability for the mistake on behalf of the league.”
McLachlan was asked whether the result would be looked at, but the boss was adamant: “The result stands.” He then admitted the incident happened so quickly because of the Swans playing on, it caused chaos.
“The kick-in was so quick. It was within 10 seconds … Sydney played on and the moment was lost and gone," he added. “The system, I don’t feel, is at fault. It was a mistake that happens repeatedly and I think all football supporters and people understand there are many mistakes during the course of the game.”
"I want to say conclusively that if the decision had been reviewed, it would have been overturned...I want to acknowledge that it was a mistake".
- Gillon McLachlan on Ben Keays' shot at goal that was called a behind. pic.twitter.com/BQ8JnNdW19
— 7AFL (@7AFL) August 20, 2023
Adelaide Crows fans lose it over behind result
Fans were rightfully dumbfounded at the decision to hand the Crows a behind and called out the system. Many were left wondering why the decision wasn't sent up stairs, which would have quelled the drama.
The bravest goal umpire in the world. It cleared the padding. The replay shows daylight between the post and the ball. Snicko didn’t work. If he had reviewed it you could easily make a case the ARC would have called it a goal. Adelaide will believe they should have won #afl pic.twitter.com/Ffk7qkz5Od
— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) August 19, 2023
Crows completely robbed!
— Mark Alvey (@alvey5) August 19, 2023
— Has the umpire made A Bad decision? (@hasumpstuffedup) August 19, 2023
Unless I'm blind/missing something, I'm almost 100% certain that was a goal for the Crows. What on earth happened? pic.twitter.com/SrpwGOQyZx
— Max Laughton (@maxlaughton) August 19, 2023
Adelaide chief executive Tim Silvers responded to McLachlan's press conference and claimed the admission didn't help the club in a season-defining game. "Human error is, and always will be, part of football and we recognise our own performance in the first half of the season-defining game was not at the standard we expect either," Silvers said.
"We are also extremely proud of our players' effort, commitment and never-give-up attitude, which was again on show. The failure to video review the scoring attempt in question is inexplicable given the enormity of the moment, not just for that game but also what it meant for our finals chances and those of other teams in the competition. Having spoken to the AFL and with no further avenues to explore, we have no choice other than to turn our focus to the final home and away match of the season."
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