The AFL has responded to the intensified calls for a send-off rule following Andrew Gaff’s shocking hit on Fremantle youngster Andrew Brayshaw.
The punch that left Brayshaw unable to eat solid foods for four weeks re-ignited the debate around the implementation of a red card system in the game.
Whilst AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has been a passionate advocate against its introduction, he says that everything will be on the table at the end of season review.
“Steve Hocking, at the end of the year, will look at all the (possibilities),” McLachlan told 3AW on Friday.
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While the league will have a look at the pros and cons of a red card, its introduction appears a long shot given McLachlan’s stance.
“I’ve expressed a personal view that I think in terms of dealing with these issues like this, it can create as many issues as it solves.”
“He’ll look at the red card as he should, as all the other things, to say ‘Can we improve our judicial system and our accountability system?’ He’ll consider it and all of that.
“It’s my personal view that it’s got some challenges.”
Hocking will look at all aspects of the game as part of his wide-ranging review, with a focus on the spirit of the game.
Jumper punches and punches to the body will fall into that category.
Automatic bans for any player for any punch, regardless of the force of the blow, will be considered.
But again, McLachlan is yet to be convinced.
“Clearly everything is on the table,” he said.
“But what happens with that again, my instinctive response is you’ll get something that’s with no force at all and if it happened to be with a fist as opposed to an elbow, I think you create challenges.
“The challenge for Steve and those who are looking at this and the clubs is not to have unintended consequences and there seems to be a potential there.”