AFL boss stands by review system


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“The lens of last night is mistakes made earlier in the year, that’s the context.”

McLachlan said he had seen the vision but refused to give his own opinion on the call.

“I’m not going to comment on whether it’s right or wrong.”

McLachlan said that there were four “guys with football experience” who were trained in exercising reasonable doubt to make the calls.

“They had specific training about what reasonable doubt is. They made the decision.”

When asked what the AFL interpretation of the legal concept “beyond reasonable doubt” was, McLachlan deflected.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan stands by controversial call that landed Essendon victory. Credit:AAP

“That’s the standard … That’s what they’ve been trained to do.”

He later said the match review team of four were given vision earlier in the week to provide examples of what constitutes significant evidence to overturn a decision.

He also wasn’t sure of the background of the match reviewers, saying: “I don’t think [they] are AFL staff.

“They’re people in the industry, they know football and they’ve been given training on this.”

The call will be investigated but regardless of the outcome, McLachlan said the training provided to match officials was “robust”.

“I think we’ve acknowledged the system has had its flaws earlier in the year. I’m comfortable with the way it worked last night.

“We need to get that standard in every situation and we’re looking forward to a centralised bunker system for next year.

“The best people with all the time, best vision and best access to it. We had that last night and we want that for every game.

“It comes down to a subjective decision; was that ball touched beyond reasonable doubt? We’ve had mistakes made in the past … That wasn’t last night.”

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