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AFL won't appeal Charlie Cameron tribunal decision

Jarred Cross -

The AFL will not appeal Brisbane forward Charlie Cameron’s let off at the AFL tribunal on Tuesday night despite the one-match ban offered by the Match Review Officer for his tackle on Melbourne’s Jake Lever was “what we were hoping the outcome would be”.

On Tuesday evening, Cameron was cleared to play in the Lions’ next home test against Geelong on Saturday after the panel considered "exceptional and compelling circumstances" put forward in his case. 

His dumping tackle on Lever was originally graded careless conduct, medium impact and high contact. 

It’s understood Cameron’s guilty plea, his clean record over 207 games, that Lever was left uninjured, the offence was on the lower end of careless, and Lions star's off-field work - including with Indigenous communities, played a hand in the decision. 

The result sparked some questions around whether it sets a dangerous precedent at the tribunal. 

Speaking on AFL.com.au’s State of the Game, league chief executive Andrew Dillon maintained Cameron wasn't cleared of the offence, but that the Tribunal panel used the discretionary actions within their capabilities in making the decision. 

He said they would not seek to appeal the result. 

“What the tribunal did was use a discretion that they have in exceptional and compelling circumstances to make a call that's outside the tribunal framework. And they did that,” Dillon said.

Dillon added he thought the original sanction was about the “right result” but “the discretion was there for the Tribunal to use”.

“What I will say from an AFL point of view is I was really happy with the way the MRO graded it, with a one match suspension and that was what we were hoping the outcome would be

“We'll then look at the tribunal and how we go for the rest of the year but as we do at the end of every year, we'll review our tribunal guidelines.”

Dillon said whether character references should sway panel decisions going forward is a “really good question” and will be monitored. 

On Tuesday evening, the Lions welcomed the decision and celebrated the continuation of Cameron’s 123-straight games, the second longest streak in the club’s history, since the opening round on 2019.

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