AFL clears North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson over foul-mouthed rant during Port Adelaide loss

Staff Writes
The Nightly
2 Min Read
Alastair Clarkson has escaped punishment for swearing near the umpires bench during a game.
Alastair Clarkson has escaped punishment for swearing near the umpires bench during a game. Credit: Dylan Burns/AFL Photos/AFL Photos via Getty Images

Alastair Clarkson will not be sanctioned by the AFL after he loudly swore near the umpires bench during the Kangaroos’ 59-point loss to Port Adelaide.

The expletive-laden rant allegedly included the words “f...... c...” following an umpire’s decision, which was heard by those close to the Kangaroos bench.

On Thursday night the AFL revealed no action would be taken against Clarkson, who is on a suspended two-match ban for using a homophobic slur while remonstrating with St Kilda defenders Jimmy Webster and Dougal Howard after he concussed North Melbourne captain Jy Simpkin with a brutal high bump in the pre-season.

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If he had been found guilty of “conduct unbecoming” again, Clarkson would trigger the two- match ban and face additional sanctions for the further breach.

“The AFL was made aware of the alleged comments by a match day official post-game who heard the comments, with the AFL Integrity Unit following up the report,” a spokesperson said.

“Clarkson has admitted to loudly swearing and using inappropriate language while standing near the umpires and officials’ bench in response to an umpiring decision during the third quarter.

“After talking to match officials, the AFL was not able to be comfortably satisfied that Clarkson’s swearing was directed towards a specific person or persons and in particular an AFL match official or officials and as such no finding of a breach of AFL Rules has been made.”

The incident comes as tensions boil with the Roos enduring a hapless season, yet to taste victory in 11 outings and failing to even get close, rooted to the foot of the ladder.

AFL great Gary Lyon had some sage advice for the multiple premiership-winning coach.

“If you’re in the coaches’ box you can swear and go nuts. I’ve sat in enough coaches’ boxes to know what they’re like,” Lyon told SEN before the AFL decided to take no action.

If you’re down on the boundary, it’s a different story.”

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