December 5, 2021

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Grand final umpire calls for Greene suspension

2 min read
Toby Greene must be suspended for at least two matches for his contact with the...

Toby Greene must be suspended for at least two matches for his contact with the umpire in his side's one-point win over Sydney, says three-time grand final umpire Mathew James.

Greene will learn his fate today at some point when match review officer Michael Christian determines whether the GWS star will be be fined for making contact with umpire Matt Stevic during the three-quarter time break in yesterday's elimination final.

For Greene to cop a suspension it must be found that his actions were intentional rather than careless or unnecessary/unreasonable. If it's ruled that his case falls under the latter two, he'll walk away with a fine.

A finding of intentional would send Greene to the tribunal and leave the Giants star in danger of missing next weekend's semi-final against Geelong.

Greene has a lengthy tribunal record, suspended late in the season for an incident involving Cats star Patrick Dangerfield.

According to the AFL tribunal guidelines for 2021, intentional conduct with an umpire is described as "contact with an umpire that is aggressive, forceful, demonstrative or disrespectful will be deemed intentional and the player will be directly referred to the tribunal."

As the Giants players made their way to the three-quarter time huddle, Greene appeared to make front-on contact with Stevic's chest/shoulder.

James, who umpired 206 AFL games between 1999 and 2009 including three grand finals, said officials need to send a message to Greene, and a fine would not be sufficient.

"It's got to stop or else this will happen at lower levels to some young boy or girl umpiring," James told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

"It was deliberate. Clearly could have stepped to the side. Has to be a minimum two matches. There is no defence for it, he walked straight at him and chose to make deliberate contact with him."

Greene said after the game that he would never make intentional contact with an umpire.

"I don't know what it was," Greene said.

"It was just in the moment and certainly I would never [intentionally] touch him. I was just talking to him about something in the game, but yeah."

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