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AFL prepares to caution Hawks' Clarkson

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27th July, 2020
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Alastair Clarkson has denied disrespecting umpires after Hawthorn’s fourth-straight defeat as the AFL prepares to caution the four-time premiership coach.

In his post-match press conference, a furious Clarkson blasted star Sydney forward Tom Papley for “milking” free kicks after the Swans seven-point victory at the SCG on Saturday.

Clarkson wished umpires paid free kicks to “everyone who is knocked off the ball like (Papley)” and said the 22-13 free-kick count in favour of Sydney was “like an extra player on the ground”.

Despite suggestions the AFL will on Tuesday issue a please explain to Clarkson about his spray, one of the game’s most revered figures has defended his comments.

“I haven’t heard from the AFL as yet, but if it is I’ll speak to them,” Clarkson told Fox Footy’s AFL

“If you listened to my whole press conference it was pretty measured and composed.

“I spoke about swings and roundabouts in terms of free kicks that come and go your way.

“I didn’t think I was in any way being disrespectful to either the umpires nor Tom Papley. If anything I’d chose my words differently.”

It comes a month after Clarkson caused headlines for saying the state of the game was “dreadful” because of umpiring interpretations of the holding the ball rule.

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The 52-year-old said he just gives his view because “people want our opinion”.

“I’m quite happy to never do any media, I’m happy to not have an opinion at all,” Clarkson said.

‘You make comment on what you see and what you think is going to be of benefit to the game from the lens that you look at it through.

“The AFL in their wisdom have got the power and the decision making tools to do what they think is best for the game and they would be very very foolish just to listen to any one person in the game, irrespective of their standing in the game.”

© AAP