News :
Home » » Police investigating former AFL diversity manager over hit at suburban match

Police investigating former AFL diversity manager over hit at suburban match

The AFL's former diversity manager Ali Fahour is being investigated by police after receiving a life ban for punching an opposition player on the field during a suburban football match.
Fahour was handed a 14-week suspension from the Northern Football League on Wednesday night for striking Whittlesea player Dale Saddington and knocking him unconscious.
The suspension meant Fahour, who plays for West Preston-Lakes, had accumulated more than 16 weeks worth of bans, meaning he was automatically deregistered and barred from playing or officiating for life.
On Monday, Fahour said he was deeply ashamed of the incident and had apologised to Saddington.

Police have today confirmed they are investigating the incident.

"We can confirm Whittlesea Crime Investigation Unit is investigating an allegation of assault that occurred during a football match at Whittlesea on Saturday, July 1," Victoria Police said in a statement.

"A statement has been obtained from the victim, a 33-year-old Whittlesea man.

"As the investigation is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

'There can be no exceptions for on-field behaviour'

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said he accepted Fahour's resignation this morning.

"As Ali said himself this week, there is no excuse or defence for his actions last weekend," he said.

"He's expressed his shame and remorse, and I know he feels this very deeply.

"The events of this week have sent a clear message that striking or punching, at any level in our game, is not acceptable.

"Every football league across the country and every player in our game, no matter what level they are playing in our sport, have to understand there are clear expectations around on-field behaviour. There can be no exceptions."
Mr McLachlan defended the AFL's decision to hold off on commenting until the Northern Football League tribunal.

He said it would have disrespected the competition's tribunal process, and the decision regarding Fahour's future at the league should not be rushed.

Mr McLachlan praised Fahour's work at the AFL, saying he was "very good at his job" and he should not be defined by a bad decision.

He said he hoped recent events, which saw Richmond's Bachar Houli and Melbourne's Tom Bugg suspended for striking, would not set back the league's anti-violence message.

Share this post :