Lab view of referee Matt Stevic, video, no 50m penalty against Chad Warner for throwing the ball into the crowd at SCG, Sydney Swans beat Richmond Tigers


The exclusive take on Friday night’s controversial referee’s decision offers a new angle on the turn of events which has sparked huge debate in the footballing world.

After giving Richmond’s Dion Prestia a free-kick on the wing in the dying seconds of the contest, Swan Chad Warner was not hit with a 50m penalty despite subsequently kicking the ball into the stands in a dramatic end to the game.

The AFL then ticked off the decision given the immediacy of the free-kick payment.

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And Fox Footy AFL 360 The team highlighted a behind-the-goal lab view that shows how close referee Matt Stevic, who paid the free-kick against Warner, was from the action, positioned inside the center square.

AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whateley pointed out that given the distance between Stevic and the contest, Warner nor any other player on the pitch could have known the free kick had been paid.

“He calls the free kick from inside the center square, and he only signals after the siren has gone off,” Whateley said.

“So he whistled and he speaks to his colleague in his ear. Warner has no perspective, none, in fact none of the players there have any prospect of knowing what Matt Stevic’s decision is before the siren is played.

Companion AFL 360 Co-host Mark Robinson added: “He has really good eyesight to see high contact, I’ll give him that. It’s far from paying a free kick like that.

Robinson then admitted he had “waxed and shrunk” over the controversial decision all weekend, but ultimately thinks “sometimes you just have to accept the impurities” of the game.

The lab’s vision shows how far Matt Stevic was from the controversial decision handed down on Friday night.Source: FOX SPORTS

“You can’t buy the theater that this game gives us,” he said.

“I posted on social media on Friday that this game has some challenges. You move a fingernail on the stand on the mark, it’s 50m (penalty), a guy kicks it on the second level of the stand and that is not 50m.

“Dustin Martin runs to the ref, and that’s not dissent. Dylan Grimes stopping Jack (Riewoldt) and others from going to the refs, that’s not dissent.

“I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not as frustrated as I was on Friday night. We have a crazy game, we have a game that throws up so much.

“People say, ‘you have to live and die at the whistle’, but we don’t because the referees exercise discretion in every game. There is no black and white in our game.

“We have a whole rulebook, half of which I think can be interpreted differently by referees.

“Instead of going, ‘oh, our game is crazy.’ We have to say, ‘oh, how good is our game because it’s crazy?’ »

Whateley reiterated that in this case he believed there was no evidence to slap Warner with a 50m penalty.

“The answer to our question, however, must be found in this rulebook,” he said.

“Where Matt Stevic blows that whistle, up to where the siren sounds, that’s the only decision. He hadn’t even clocked in when the ball was in the stands.

“Nobody has any perspective at this point given how far away it is from the action.”


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