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SBD Global/May 8, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Melbourne To Appeal Australian Football League Tribunal's Suspension Of Jack Viney

Melbourne "is appealing" the Australian Football League tribunal’s verdict to suspend Jack Viney for two matches, according to Andrew Faulkner of THE AUSTRALIAN. The Demons announced they will appeal on the grounds “that the decision was so unreasonable, that no tribunal acting reasonably could have come to that decision having regard to the evidence before it." It was "no doubt encouraged by the huge outcry from past -- and some present -- players about Viney’s suspension for a bump on Adelaide’s Tom Lynch on Saturday" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/7). The AAP reported outgoing AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou "will go before the appeal panel" on Thursday. He has "strongly backed the league's outgoing policy of protecting players' heads, but says the latest rule revision might need another look." Demetriou was "unusually candid about the issue." Demetriou: "He's (Viney) very unlucky, there's no doubt about that. It's a legitimate issue to say he didn't have much choice, but given it's going before an appeal tomorrow night, we'll wait and see the outcome of that" (AAP, 5/7). In Melbourne, Daniel Cherny reported the lawyer who defended Brett Deledio on Tuesday night in the tribunal case that immediately followed the "landmark" Viney decision believes that the AFL's rule changes in recent seasons "have likely shielded it from a major payout to footballers who suffer serious head injuries." Horvath contends that the AFL "was wise to implement a number of recent rule changes aimed at stemming the damage from major issues that were identified in their annual medical reports." Horvath: "From a legal point of view, once you're aware of something that can lead to serious injury and risk and so on, and particularly long-term head injury, and I'm particularly thinking of concussive injury and related matters, the AFL has an obligation to act on the information" (THE AGE, 5/7).
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