The controversial photo with Manchester United star Marcus Rashford holding a Sherrin that sparked a social media uproar last week has prompted a severe response by Football Australia.
According to a report by the Sydney Morning Herald, FA plans to ban touring football clubs from doing anything to promote rival codes, meaning the days of international sports stars continuing the tradition of being photographed with the Aussie Rules ball could be numbered.
While FA is not involved in staging ‘friendlies’ such as the matches currently being played between overseas clubs such as Manchester United, Aston Villa and Leeds United currently being undertaken across Australia, it does have to officially give them the green light before they can proceed.
According to the report, FA will not approve games unless foreign clubs and local promoters agree to not use their status to give publicity to rival codes such as the AFL, instead pushing them to use their promotional power to amplify grassroots football clubs.
In addition to the Rashford Sherrin photo, a promotional opportunity at AAMI Park last week featuring the 24-year old with players from other sports – including the two Melbourne-based BBL clubs and the Melbourne Storm – was slammed for not featuring any of the three Victorian A-League teams.
While Melbourne Victory captain Josh Brillante was present, he was not included in the most widely publicised photo of the event.
Iconic SBS football presenter Lucy Zelic was one of many to blast the AFL’s use of Rashford, describing the promotion as ‘f—ing embarrassing’ on Twitter.
“As a code, the AFL and its representatives have done nothing but s–t on football time and time again,” Zelic wrote.
“Agreeing to be apart [sic] of this stupidity is just insulting.”
According to the SMH, Rashford was set upon by two AFL representatives after the event had concluded, with the photo of him and the Sherrin snapped quickly in the tunnels underneath AAMI Park.
The AFL has regularly used international sports stars to promote itself, with Indian cricket icon Virat Kohli and Aussie turned NBA gun Ben Simmons among those to feature in recent years.
Brisbane’s VFL side have avoided being stripped of their win against GWS on the weekend, despite being found to have had 19 players on the field for more than four minutes during the last quarter.
After an interchange error, the Lions were found by an AFL investigation to have had an extra player on the field between the 5:54 and 10:13 minute marks of the final term – a period of 4 minutes and 19 seconds.
In accordance with rule 5.5.3 (a) of the laws of the game, the league’s verdict was to strip the Lions of all points scored from the start of the quarter until the moment the extra player left the field, during which they scored one goal and three behinds.
However, had the umpires or opposition noticed during the match, the Lions would have been hit with an additional 50m penalty for the breach.
The loss of points wasn’t enough to cost the Lions victory, having originally won by 18 points; however, the final score has been amended to read:
Brisbane Lions 9.13 (67)
GWS Giants 8.10 (58)
The goalscorer and three points-scorers from the period annulled by the AFL’s decision will have their records amended in official VFL statistics.
North Melbourne are the new favourites to secure Alastair Clarkson as coach for the 2023 season – but reports suggest it could come at a heavy cost.
According to Seven News, Clarkson’s asking price will be $1.6 million per year, which would blow a major hole in the Roos’ soft cap and make him comfortably the AFL’s highest-earning coach.
While the cap is set to be increased to $6.95 million for next season, nearly a quarter of that would be devoted to the four-time Hawthorn premiership coach.
However, the Roos seem prepared to do whatever it takes to lure Clarkson, who played 93 games for the club between 1987 and 1995, with Seven’s Tom Browne suggesting the club is in the ‘box seat’ to have him replaced the recently resigned David Noble at the helm.
The Roos and GWS remain the only clubs on the hunt for a new coach, with the Giants having parted ways with Leon Cameron earlier in the season while.