AFL Boss Flags Bans For Brawlers After Frightening MCG Fight
Ugly scenes in the outer like we saw last night will not go unpunished.
That's the word from the top, after the wild brawl that took place at the MCG towards the end of the Richmond Carlton 2019 season-opener.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan went on Melbourne radio station 3AW earlier today and said that the League would consider banning fans involved in the incident which he labelled "a disgrace".
In the video, which was posted on social media, several people throw punches. A man in a Richmond jumper is seen being particularly aggressive.
"It's clearly unacceptable," McLachlan said.
"Every person who comes to our game needs to feel safe. That behaviour is clearly unacceptable and there needs to be accountability for the individuals involved.
"We have the power to issue banning notices and, I don't want to run ahead of it, but from what I have seen it'd be hard to see why we would want that person in a Richmond jumper -- and there may be others -- coming to the football for a period of time."
An AFL spokesperson says an investigation of the incident is imminent.
"Once identified, we have provisions to ban the patrons from AFL matches," the spokesperson said.
"Eighty-five thousand fans attended the match last night and the overwhelming majority of people behaved responsibly and enjoyed the game. We will not let the actions of a few take away from this."
Meanwhile, Victoria Police have fined a 19-year-old man $322 for riotous behaviour. None of the men involved in the brawl wished to take further action, police said.
And in the actual football game, Richmond won 14.13 (97) to 9.10 (64), although the victory was soured after Alex Rance went off with a knee injury. It was later revealed the 29-year-old fullback had damaged the ACL in his right knee. He will now have surgery and likely miss the entire season.