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Update: Nat Fyfe is ineligible for the Brownlow Medal and will miss Fremantle’s Round 12 game against Adelaide after the AFL Tribunal upheld his one-week ban for striking Levi Greenwood.
Fremantle argued that Fyfe’s actions were careless, not intentional, but were unable to convince the jury. Fyfe’s punishment would have been downgraded to a fine if the tribunal had found in his favour, which would’ve meant he continued to be eligible for the Brownlow Medal.
The Dockers have the option of appealing the tribunal’s decision if they wish to do so, but this is rarely successful.
Previous: Nat Fyfe is set to front the AFL Tribunal tonight in a hearing which may well determine the fate of the 2018 Brownlow Medal. Join The Roar for live updates and the verdict tonight from 5pm AEST.
On Monday the Match Review Officer, Michael Christian, handed Fyfe a one-game ban for striking Levi Greenwood in Fremantle’s Round 11 match against Collingwood on Sunday.
The match review statement put it as follows:
“Nat Fyfe, Fremantle, has been charged with striking Levi Greenwood, Collingwood, during the third quarter of the Round 11 match between Fremantle and Collingwood, played at the MCG on Sunday June 3, 2018.
“In summary, he can accept a one-match sanction with an early plea.
“Based on the available video evidence and a medical report from the Collingwood Football Club, the incident was assessed as intentional conduct with low impact to the head. The incident was classified as a one-match sanction. The player can accept a one-game sanction with an early plea.”
Not only would a one-game ban mean that Fyfe was unable to take to the field in what looks like a potentially winnable game against the Adelaide Crows at home in Round 12, but it would also mean he was ruled ineligible for the Brownlow Medal.
Fyfe has been in excellent form across the first half of the season and – if eligible – appears to be the leading contender for the medal at the moment.
It would be his second medal, having also won the award in 2015, a season where the Fremantle Dockers finished on top of the ladder.
Fremantle are expected to argue that Fyfe’s charge should be graded as careless, rather than intentional, which would result in the penalty being downgraded to a fine.
That would leave Fyfe free to play, and still eligible for the Brownlow.
Join The Roar for live updates and the verdict tonight from 5pm AEST.