A country footballer will miss his side’s finals campaign after a “legally misconceived” attempt to overturn his suspension in the Supreme Court.
- Leongatha’s John Ginnane has been suspended for eight weeks for striking
- He appeared in the Supreme Court today arguing the decision by AFL Victoria Country be reviewed
- The case comes days before the start of Leongatha’s finals campaign in the Gippsland Football League
Leongatha footballer John “Jack” Ginnane appeared in the court on Tuesday asking for a review of a decision to suspend him for eight weeks from the Gippsland Football League.
The case came before the court just days before Leongatha plays its first final after an undefeated home and away season.
The court heard Mr Ginnane was suspended for striking against Wonthaggi in round 12, in an incident which resulted in an opposition player losing consciousness and breaking his collarbone.
The suspension was handed down by the Gippsland league’s independent tribunal and later upheld by the AFL Victoria Country Appeal Board.
Mr Ginnane has already served four weeks of the ban.
Mr Ginnane’s lawyer, David Mence, told the court Mr Ginnane had been attempting to punch the football and not his opponent and the suspension was “manifestly excessive” and unreasonable.
He asked the court to undertake a judicial review of the decision by AFL Victoria and to suspend the playing ban while the review process took place, effectively allowing Mr Ginnane to play in the finals.
A judicial review consists of the court reviewing a decision made by a public authority, such as a government.
However, Ben Ihle, QC, who appeared on behalf of AFL Victoria, said the appeal was “factually, legally and jurisdictionally misconceived”.
Justice Andrew Keogh told the court Mr Ihle had instead submitted it should be a contractual claim, interrogating the agreement Mr Ginnane had entered with the Gippsland league and AFL Victoria.
After hearing arguments for about two hours in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, lawyers representing Mr Ginnane told the court they would withdraw their client’s application.
Leongatha will play Wonthaggi for a place in the Gippsland league grand final in Moe this weekend.
Source: AFL NEWS ABC