Update: Fremantle have confirmed they will challenge Nat Fyfe’s one-match ban at the AFL Tribunal.
Fremantle skipper Nat Fyfe is set to be denied the chance to win a second Brownlow Medal in 2018 after the AFL’s Match Review Officer Michael Christian offered him a one-game ban for striking Levi Greenwood in Round 11.
Fyfe and the Fremantle Dockers will have the option of appealing the ban at the AFL Tribunal without risking an extra week thanks to the changes that were made to the tribunal system at the end of last year.
After a dominant start to the year Fyfe has looked the likely leading Brownlow Medal contender in 2018, despite the poor form of his team as a whole.
However if he accepts the one-game ban – or fails to successfully appeal it at the tribunal – then he will be ruled ineligible for the award even if he records the most votes during the season.
If that eventuates, it will through the Brownlow Medal race wide open for just about any of the AFL’s better midfielders to put themselves in the frame with a strong second half of the year.
Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell and the Western Bulldogs’ Jackson Macrae would likely jump to the front of the queue in terms of favouritism, but Patrick Dangerfield and Dustin Martin would both remain strong chances if their form improves after the bye.
Even Rory Laird, Andrew Gaff or Dayne Beams could be an outside chance with a strong finish to the season.
In other MRO decisions for the week, North Melbourne’s Jy Simpkin has been given a two-week ban, while a further nine players have been fined.
One of those is Richmond’s Alex Rance, fined $1000 for staging in Saturday night’s Dreamtime at the ‘G match against Essendon.
Mitch Robinson can accept $2000, rough conduct on SHiggins.
Scott Rhompson can accept $3000, striking DZorko.
Darcy Tucker can accept $1500, careless contact umpire LHaussen.
Nat Fyfe can accept 1 game, striking LGreenwood.
— Patrick Keane (@AFL_PKeane) June 4, 2018
More to come.