'Victoria-centric': SA Premier blasts AFL over jumper furore

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
David Koch (pictured left) talking and South Australia Premier Steven Marshall (pictured right) at a press conference.
David Koch (pictured left) and South Australia Premier Steven Marshall (pictured right) have both taken aim at the AFL over their decision on Port Adelaide's jumper. (Getty Images)

The South Australian premier has weighed in on the debate surrounding Port Adelaide's battle with the AFL and Eddie McGuire over why the club hasn't been approved to don its historic 'prison bar' jumper in the upcoming Showdown.

The Power made the request to wear their iconic black and white strip, which the club used during its SANFL days prior to their admittance into the AFL in 1997, back in 2019.

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Port Adelaide marked its 150th anniversary in 2020, wearing the 'prison bar' jumpers against the Crows in last year's clash, but also made the request to use the same strip in each matchup.

Furthermore, McGuire and Koch have been feuding for months over the latter's request to the AFL for Port to wear the black and white strip more often.

The former Collingwood president, McGuire, claimed the Magpies are the only club who should be wearing black and white.

But in a fiery statement published on the club's website on Wednesday evening, Koch said the club had approached the AFL about using the design on an ongoing basis against the Crows in the Showdown each season - and only that game.

Koch hit out at the AFL for their lack of response only days before the encounter.

“Quite frankly it is ridiculous that we are still waiting for an answer," Koch said.

"We first approached the AFL on this matter two years ago in the lead up to our 150th anniversary season.

"To think we are 10 days away from the Showdown and still waiting for a response is totally disrespectful to our fans and our club."

SA Premier hits out at AFL over Port jumper

But on Thursday, Koch retweeted South Australia Premier Steven Marshall's call for the AFL to allow Port Adelaide to don the jumper.

Even slammed the 'Victoria-centric' AFL over the decision.

“Love them or hate them, the Port Adelaide Prison Bar jumper is iconic with South Australian football,” Marshall wrote on Twitter.

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“We play in a national competition and it’s time that the full history of one of our two great AFL clubs is fully recognised and celebrated.

“I stand with the Port Adelaide Football Club in calling for the AFL to overturn its Victoria-centric decision.”

Bombshell document emerges amid AFL furore

Koch's statement sparked an angry response from McGuire on Footy Classified in a clash with former Port Adelaide player Kane Cornes.

Cornes showed McGuire a document that showed McGuire had agreed to allow Port to wear the black and white guernsey on an annual basis in 2007.

Cornes claimed the document was the original agreement signed by Port and Collingwood officials when the Power first requested to wear the alternate strip.

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Cornes said the document, signed by McGuire, showed Collingwood agreed to let Port wear the black and white strip every year for Heritage Round - a concept that no longer exists.

McGuire shot back by claiming Port had actually tried to distance themselves from their SANFL heritage and forfeited any link to the black and white colours when they entered the AFL.

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