- A teenage referee was abused in a final match
- Warwick Williams pushed him
- The former AFL referee has defended the player in question
A former AFL referee has come to the defense of a player who ripped a young referee’s shirt and threw him to the ground during a wild brawl in a finals match in the Northern Territory over the weekend.
Warwick Williams was ejected from Sunday’s NTFL knockout final after assaulting the young referee, while also appearing to punch an opposing player.
Williams has been in his first season back in the league after spending a year in prison for an assault conviction. He plays for the Northern Territory football team, PINT (Postal Institute of the Northern Territory).
Video footage from the game shows an explosion midway through the fourth quarter of the elimination final between PINT and Southern Districts.
Williams entered the fray midway through the altercation and appeared to punch two opponents, with both falling to the ground.
Former AFL referee Michael Pell says young referee was caught in the wrong position and put himself in danger
The teenage referee (right, in green) was thrown to the ground during a knockout final match in the Northern Territory last weekend.
He then grabs the young referee, who is trying to stop the commotion, before throwing him to the ground.
But former AFL referee Michael Pell says the young umpire was caught in the wrong position and should not have tried to break up the melee.
‘I think he [Williams] He was trying to get the referee away. “He pushed the referee out of the melee to protect him and at that point he was pulled out and, as such, he dragged the referee with him,” Pell said. news corporation.
“It’s unfortunate and it doesn’t look great, but I don’t think there was any malicious intent on the player’s part.”
‘My response to that young referee would be to stay away from any melee and away from the players. Don’t try to break it.
“If the players are going to fight, there is very little the referees can do to stop them.
‘So stand back, get a good view of the whole melee and use your whistle and your words to try to keep them going.
“Unfortunately, your inexperience has trapped you here.”
A senior referee placed Williams under report and sent him off the field, preventing him from playing for the rest of the match.
The party’s review panel is expected to include Williams in its charge sheet on Tuesday.
Williams was given a three-year and four-month prison sentence in 2022 after breaking a man’s jaw during an altercation at a Darwin party.
He spent 14 months behind bars before being released last year.
“Referees are an integral part of our game and, like everyone, have the right to feel safe and valued in football,” the AFLNT said in a statement.
“While we recognize that this incident must follow due process, we wish to reinforce that the AFLNT strongly condemns abuse of any kind in our game and has zero tolerance when it comes to referee abuse in any form.”