Brisbane coach Chris Fagan has defended the AFL Tribunal’s controversial decision to overturn star forward Charlie Cameron’s one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle, as well as the Lions’ much-publicised ‘good bloke’ defence.

Cameron successfully had the ban downgraded to a fine, with the Tribunal citing his ‘exemplary’ record as a key reason for their decision.

The reprieve has caused consternation around the football world, with Geelong coach Chris Scott saying sparing Cameron is ‘offensive’ as it implies other players are of lesser character.

However, speaking on Friday, Fagan staunchly defended the call to downgrade Cameron’s tackle on Melbourne’s Jake Lever to ‘low’ impact from the ‘medium’ grading issued originally by Match Review Officer Michael Christian.

“When you go to the Tribunal, you use everything at your disposal to try and free up your player, which every club does,” Fagan said.

“If a bloke’s got a good record, he’s played 200 games and he’s never been suspended for a match, you would at least give that a mention I’d think, otherwise you’d be remiss in your duty to that player.

“It [Cameron’s good record] was mentioned. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the main reason why the charge was downgraded to low impact.

“Was Jake Lever hurt? No, he wasn’t. Did he go off for a concussion test? No, he didn’t. Was there a medical report from the Melbourne Football Club about his condition? No, there wasn’t. So, on every measure, the impact of that incident was low.”

Fagan eventually took issue with repeated questions from a journalist about the incident and the Lions’ successful Tribunal defence.

“Mate, interview the Tribunal – don’t interview me. I didn’t make the decision, okay?” he said to abruptly end the back and forth.

Fagan’s Lions take on Scott’s Cats at the Gabba on Saturday evening, with Geelong looking to extend their unbeaten run to start 2024 to six, while Brisbane are eyeing a third straight victory to continue their recovery from a poor first month.





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