AFL admits error on controversial Murray call

The AFL has admitted the boundary umpire made an error in not awarding Melbourne a free kick for a deliberate out of bounds call in the dying stages of its loss to Adelaide.

Melbourne’s nine-match streak came to an end in Round 10, courtesy of a one-point loss to the Crows, but the result was shrouded in controversy after what was deemed by many to be glaring error.

Crows defender Nick Murray swooped on a ball deep in his defensive 50 before handballing towards the boundary line after he was besieged upon by Melbourne forward Charlie Spargo.

While the call was widely seen as an error, Murray’s teammate Tom Doedee was emphatic in his belief that Murray’s handball was not deliberate, indicating that he “was right there” to receive the ball from the youngster.

Despite Doedee’s spirited defence of the umpire’s decision, the AFL admitted that an error had been made in a statement on Monday evening.

“It was the view of the umpire in real-time, that from his angle there was a player in the vicinity and, as such, decided to call a Throw In,” the statement read.

“Upon video review, it was deemed the player did not display Sufficient Intent to keep the ball in play.”

The incident occurred in the final 30 seconds of the match, and had a free kick been awarded, Melbourne would have had the chance to either tie up the scores with a behind or take the lead with a goal.

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