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The Roar


'Basil cooked that': Footy world outraged over incredible grand final presentation oversight

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26th September, 2021
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Channel Seven presenter and AFL grand final master of ceremonies Basil Zempilas has once again copped the ire of footy fans around the country.

In Perth’s first grand final, it was Zempilas, the city’s Lord Mayor, who had the honours of conducting the post-match ceremony, only to make a shocking series of mistakes.

After Melbourne secured a 74-point win over the Western Bulldogs to end a 57-year premiership drought, Zempilas broke tradition by announcing Christian Petracca’s Norm Smith Medal win himself – rather than allowing presenter and 2006 winner Andrew Embley to do the honours.

Onlookers swiftly took to social media to express their disappointment, including former AFL great Brendan Fevola.


But an even more extraordinary blunder was soon to follow. Shortly after, Zempilas invited Demons coach Simon Goodwin to the stage to be awarded the Jock McHale Medal by John Worsfold.

It is grand final tradition that the premiership coach delivers the final speech of the day (or in this case, night) and has featured memorable moments such as Paul Roos’ famous ‘Here it is!’ cry after leading Sydney to their own drought-breaking premiership in 2005; or Dogs coach Luke Beveridge presenting the McHale medal to injured captain Bob Murphy back in 2016.

However, Zempilas, having seemingly forgotten about the custom, returned to the mic as soon as the medal was placed around Goodwin’s neck, inviting Demons great Garry Lyon to the stage to present the premiership cup.

“Basil cooked that,” Fevola claimed on Twitter – and the footy world was in accord about that.


Zempilas had already caused outrage in the lead-up to the grand final, with his suggestion that Optus Stadium attendees could give a minute’s applause at 20:21 (AWST) as a tribute to Australians in lockdown in NSW and Victoria roundly pilloried.