AFL Acknowledges Umpiring Mistake in Fogarty Incident

Ben H / 2 May 2023

The Missed Free Kick for Nathan Murphy

The AFL had confessed to an umpiring error when Collingwood defender Nathan Murphy was not awarded a free kick following a collision with Adelaide’s Darcy Fogarty. During the last quarter of Collingwood’s exciting victory on Sunday, Murphy found himself under a high ball when Fogarty made front-on contact with him. Though Murphy seemed to have held the mark, it wasn’t awarded, and he didn’t receive a free kick either, even as the high front-on impact caused him to leave the field with a bleeding nose.

Play Continues Despite Injured Player and Medical Team on Field

To make matters worse, the play was not stopped as Murphy was assisted off the field, and the ball nearly struck him and the Collingwood medical staff while they were making their way to the bench. Collingwood’s Jordan De Goey kicked the ball over the boundary line, assuming that play would be halted. Instead, he was penalized for a deliberate out-of-bounds. Collingwood coach Craig McRae expressed his disbelief at the “staggering” umpiring oversight.

AFL Admits to Umpiring Error and Mishandling of Blood Rule

“After reviewing that specific sequence of events, we recognize that the umpires missed the initial free kick and subsequently failed to follow the blood rule process,” AFL head of umpiring Dan Richardson said. “We have been in contact with Collingwood to clarify the situation.” As a result of the incident, Murphy told Collingwood’s website that he suffered from “a bit of a fat lip” and “a bit of a broken nose.”

Coach McRae’s Frustration Over the Umpiring Blunder

Coach McRae, who is usually composed, expressed frustration with the situation. “I lost my mind,” McRae said. “Because one, whether it was a mark or a free kick – either, you could argue. But then there’s blood, and he’s trying to exit the field, and we didn’t get a chance to replace the player in the critical moment. So I was astounded by it.”

No Explanation for Missed Free Kick to Ash Johnson

The AFL did not provide a reason for not awarding an evident free kick to Collingwood forward Ash Johnson in the final minutes, though McRae didn’t plan to pursue it. In the goalsquare, Johnson was taken high by Adelaide’s Jordon Butts. McRae commented on the situation: “At the moment, I’m (thinking) ‘What the hell is going on here?’ But then you move on. You can’t do anything about it now, can you? We make way more mistakes than they do. So you make mistakes and move on; that’s how I look at it.”

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Ben H
Ben Harris is the Communications Manager for KRUZEY, an AFL expert, and writer. He has one daughter that he loves dearly and four children's books... [Read full bio]

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