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Human Rights Commission to bring Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan face-to-face with Cyril Rioli & other Hawks

Mitch Cleary
The Nightly
2 Min Read
AFL coaches Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan are about to come face to face with their accusers, including Cyril Rioli.

Alastair Clarkson and Chris Fagan will meet face-to-face with the Hawthorn players who made allegations of racism against them in what could finally mark the end of the 18-month saga.

The Human Rights Commission is set to facilitate “conciliation talks” between the two coaches and a number of ex-Hawthorn stars — including club legend Cyril Rioli — across two days from March 26.

It will mark the first time the pair have come face-to-face with the players since the accusations first emerged in 2022.

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The ABC reported the serious allegations included an Indigenous player being told to encourage his partner to have an abortion as having a child would affect his playing future, with another stating a player had been urged to separate from his partner.

The AFL closed its investigation into the matter and found “no wrongdoing” in May last year.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 24: Cyril Rioli of the Hawks poses for a portrait during the Hawthorn Hawks team photo day at the Ricoh Centre, Melbourne on January 24, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media)
The Human Rights Commission is set to facilitate “conciliation talks” between the two coaches and a number of ex-Hawthorn stars — including club legend Cyril Rioli — across two days from March 26. Credit: Adam Trafford/AFL Media

Both Fagan and Clarkson had denied the allegations since they were leaked, with the latter taking a mental health break after the probe closed.

The meeting will come just days out from the pair’s massive Easter weekend games, with Fagan coaching the Lions in the grand final rematch with Collingwood on March 28, while Clarkson will lead his Kangaroos against Carlton the day after.

Both coaches have accepted the days requested, with the exact requirements of the talks still to be finalised.

It is understood that if all parties were satisfied, the saga would end here rather than progressing to Federal Court.

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