AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whateley believes the league should introduce a $1 million fine and automatic 11-week suspension to anyone who breaches the integrity of the game, warning that the code is not taking these issues anywhere near as seriously as it should.
Collingwood was fined $20,000 on Tuesday after star pair Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe were spotted using their mobile phones in the middle of a game despite not being one of 10 authorised device carriers the club is allowed.
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Asked about the issue on Monday night’s AFL 360, Buckley said De Goey, suffering from a head knock, was “not thinking straight” while claiming the club’s redundancies over the past year due to COVID-19 had made monitoring such issues more difficult.
“I thought ‘Bucks’ was being a smart**** last night, that‘s what I first made of it,” AFL 360 co-host Mark Robinson said on Tuesday night.
“I think $20,000 … I’m happy, I think everyone should be happy with $20,000. There’s enough publicity around this to absolutely, emphatically send the message that no player should grab their mobile phones and not just players, anyone who’s not allocated that position of using a mobile phone. You don’t do it.”
AFL: Gerard Whateley believes the next team that breaches the mobile phone rule should be heavily penalised….
AFL: Gerard Whateley believes the next team that breaches the mobile phone rule should be heavily penalised.
Whateley put forward the view that, for the most part, those in and around the league “maintain an arrogance that this (integrity breaches) couldn’t happen in the AFL”.
“This is the very least that needed to happen and I’m quite comfortable with it, but it should come with the rider it should be a million dollar penalty if it happens again and it should be an 11-week suspension. Don’t worry about please explains.
“If you’re a Test cricketer and during the first session of the Boxing Day test you saunter into the rooms and pick up your phone, you are kissing goodbye to the next two years of your career and you know it.”
Of great concern to Whateley was the idea there’d be no true change in the approach to such issues until the league is embroiled in a watershed incident of an integrity breach.
“I suspect we won’t take it seriously until we get to a shocking moment of sport fixing and go ‘Oh my God, I had never imagined it could happen in our sport. Even though it happened in every other sport around the world and we’d been well warned’.”
Originally published asHost rips AFL ‘arrogance’, wants $1m penalty
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