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High free kicks, players ducking, Jack Ginnivan, umpires, new rules, Gillon McLachlan interview

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan believes players and coaches have been “exploited” by the league’s umpiring over high contact, again stressing the tightening of the rules going into Round 19.

The league issued a notice Tuesday warning that any player who ducks or makes tackles will not be awarded, following controversy over the rule and decision.

Speaking on AFL 360, McLachlan said the rule remains the same, but has drawn renewed attention from the league.

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‘Joel tries to escape from the conflict’ | 01:22

“It’s the same law, explained,” he said.

“I think it’s been made very clear that if you contribute to high contact — duck, raise your arms or drop your knees — you’re not going to catch the ball if you don’t have it before.

“It was, but there is hope for clarity.”

The players and coaches have been criticized for not doing anything to discourage the incident, but McLachlan said the case was not unique.

“What I accept is that the rules are there and the coaches and the players are partly going to drive by them and use them to their advantage,” he said.

“That’s what actually happens in sports, that’s what they do.

“It’s been exploited and people are trying to take advantage of it unfairly, and you have to tighten up and check and deal with the players, the clubs and the fans, and that’s what happened here.”

“I don’t like it,” McLachlan said when asked about his thoughts on players getting into high-profile relationships.

“I don’t like and don’t like the use of the rule – the rule is to protect the players’ heads – they put themselves at risk of injury.

“The second episode is just as bad as the first.”

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