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AFL bans Collingwood fan after touching West Coast player

Collingwood’s Darcy Cameron high-fives fans at the MCG.

Collingwood’s Darcy Cameron high-fives fans at the MCG. Photo: Getty

A Collingwood member has been banned for the rest of the year after he leaned over the fence and grabbed West Coast player Harvey Johnston at Marvel Stadium.

The incident happened during the fourth quarter on Sunday afternoon when the patron stood up in his seat, leant over the fence and proceeded to grab and then pat Johnston on the head, before taking the football from him.

After reviewing the security report and taking into consideration the fan’s immediate contrition, including actively providing police and security with his details on the day, the AFL banned him from attending all AFL and AFLW matches this year.

The total ban is 12 months with six months suspended – the suspended portion will remain in place for two years.

The patron is a Collingwood member whose membership has now been suspended by the club for the rest of 2024.

Pending his co-operation with the sanction, he will be able to buy a 2025 Collingwood membership and attend matches next season.

AFL general counsel Stephen Meade said Sunday’s incident was simply not acceptable.

“While we acknowledge the innocuous nature in which the incident played out on the day, these types of interactions should not happen,” Meade said.

“Grabbing a player from over the fence could have potentially escalated if it wasn’t for the professional manner in which Eagles player Harvey responded.

“We also acknowledge the fan involved proactively made himself known to security and police and apologised to both Collingwood, West Coast and the AFL, and recognise his immediate understanding of his actions not being acceptable.

“We have the best fans in sport, and more than 3.1 million people have attended the footy this year and we want everyone who comes to games to barrack for their club and enjoy the experience, but when you overstep the clear boundaries, which is what happened on the weekend, then you will lose the privilege of being able to attend the footy.”

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