Outrage As Female AFL Player Banned For Six Weeks For Playing Men's Game

Casey McElroy took to the field during a men's AFL game because of a reserve shortage.

McElroy, a 27-year-old player from Limestone Coast Women's Football League, joined the Padthaway Lions game against Kingston as an unregistered player when the Lions ran out of reserves.

Both clubs agreed before kick-off that there was no issue with her participation.

Casey McElroy in action on the field. Source: Limestone Coast Women's Football League.

However, the club has now been slapped with a $2,000 fine for McElroy's involvement and she has been banned from playing for six weeks.

The Lions club president said that they would not be contesting the fine.

McElroy said is devastated by the ban, which will cut her AFL season to only two matches in the eight-game women's league in 2020.

"I guess people are jumping on the gender equality bandwagon but I was just there because I love football," she said.

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Both McElroy's father and grandfather played for the Lions and she said that she was "stoked to be a part of it...wearing the same guernsey that both my dad and poppa have worn."

It is not possible for women to register to play in the men's league, which means that McElroy was playing unregistered and uninsured during the game.

South Australian National Football League (SANFL) assert that the organisation is working to ensure equality of women's opportunities in the sport, with competitions growing throughout the state.

Many people have taken to Twitter stating their disappointment with the penalty.

One user commented, "Ridiculous penalty by @SANFL way more than required for the "crime" What is your reasoning? #crapcall".

Another said that it was a "massive pr disaster" for the league.

McElroy now has one week to accept the ban or refer the matter to an independent tribunal.