Adelaide Crows will appeal the record ban handed to Ebony Marinoff for the incident that left Bríd Stack with a fractured neck.
Marinoff was handed a three-match ban by the AFL tribunal for the front-on contact on Stack late in Sunday's practice match against the Greater Western Sydney Giants
No AFLW player has been handed more than a two-game ban before and if upheld the sanction means Marinoff would miss a third of the regular nine-game season.
Crows Head of Women’s Football Phil Harper says that punishment is 'grossly disproportionate'.
“We are appealing this decision because we all feel that the suspension is grossly disproportionate for the action.
“We need to support our player in this instance as we feel Ebony acted in an appropriate manner given the circumstances of this incident.
“We also feel for the Giants and Bríd in particular and wish her all the best for what is hopefully a speedy recovery.”
Ebony Marinoff has been found guilty of engaging in forceful front-on contact at the AFL Tribunal tonight and has been suspended for three matches. Below is the incident in question, more to come #weflyasone #crowsaflw pic.twitter.com/3FDLg1kXmQ— Adelaide Crows AFLW (@CrowsAFLW) January 19, 2021
Crows coach Matthew Clarke said the club felt the incident was “an unavoidable footy collision” rather than careless or dangerous play by Marinoff.
“With regard to the penalty, as coaches and administrators we have a duty of care to our players and Ebony and all other AFLW players train incredibly hard for nine months for the opportunity to play just nine games.
“We feel it is unjust and disproportionate to have one third of those games taken away by what I believe to be an unavoidable incident.
“We believe it’s important to not only support our players, but to question an outcome which we see as placing an unreasonable expectation on all players to avoid contact in circumstances where the ball is in dispute.”
In a statement, Marinoff said she didn’t mean to hurt Stack.
“I’m really disappointed with this outcome, it was never my intention to hurt Bríd.
“Every time I go onto the footy field I want to play hard but fair football and I believe that’s what I did on Sunday.
“I reached out to Bríd to send her my best and I wish her a fast recovery.”