Board makes unprecedented decision to appeal tribunal

The Central Murray FNL board will appeal the tribunal for the first time in its history.

The Central Murray FNL board will appeal the tribunal for the first time in its history.

The Central Murray FNL Board has made the unprecedented move to appeal the tribunal's decision to suspend Nyah Nyah West United reserves player Devon Andrews for four matches.

Andrews faced the tribunal on Monday night on two charges of Unbecoming Conduct against Tooleybuc Manangatang player Alex Norton during the CMFNL reserves match on May 20.

Andrews was found guilty on the first charge involving an alleged eye-gouge before pleading guilty to the second charge, which left Norton with a fractured jaw.

Norton spent six days in hospital following the incident.

It is the first time that the Central Murray FNL have appealed a tribunal's decision.

Chairman John Brookshaw told The Guardian that the Board met on Tuesday and no board member opposed the decision to appeal.

"It is the opinion of the Board that the sentence is unduly lenient given the nature of the charges, in that, the striking was a deliberate act behind play and the eye gouging was witnessed by several players and an umpire," a statement released by Mr Brookshaw read.

"As a League, we do not accept this type of behaviour and we unreservedly apologise to the injured player for this occurring in our league. Our standards and expectations are ‘zero tolerance’ toward any violence in any games and zero tolerance toward any player who breaches these rules.

"By appealing this sanction we are not leveling criticism at the Tribunal but asking the question of the AFL 'Is this sanction appropriate in these circumstances?'"

AFL Victoria will conduct the appeal next week.

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