Dane Spiderman Rampe
Ask any fan, and the integrity of sport is everything. Each week fans part with their hard earned to support a fair and even contest.

Yet many fans have become not only concerned, but indeed incensed by the AFL’s growing lack of integrity, as it seeks to manufacture outcomes to protect the AFL brand.

Just one example is the recent situation regarding Dane ‘Spiderman’ Rampe and his climbing of the goal post in the match between Sydney and Essendon, as Bomber David Myers kicked for goal after the final siren.

The Laws of the Game (Rule 17.11.1) are perfectly clear:
“A free kick shall be awarded against a player or official who intentionally shakes a goal or behind post either before or after a player has disposed of the football.”

By climbing the post, which was always going to cause it to shake, Rampe was in breach of the rule and the free kick should have been paid.

Note the use of the word “shall” in Rule 17.11.1 – there is no use of the word “may”. There was no room for discretion here, the rules clearly state that the free kick had to be paid.

The AFL could have put its hand up and said “we apologise, we got this one wrong”.

However, Gillon McLachlan was never going to admit that the AFL was at fault. He leapt to the defence of the umpires, calling it “practical umpiring”.

After initially clearing Rampe of any wrongdoing on the Friday night, and again on Saturday morning, the AFL on Monday issued him with a ‘please explain’ letter relating to his scaling of a goal post.

In a comical turn of events, the AFL then charged Rampe with conduct unbecoming and prejudicial to the interests of the game for climbing the goal post, slapping him with a suspended $1000 fine.

The AFL then concluded Dane Rampe did not intentionally shake the post.

What a complete and utter farce.

That seemed to be a very practical response. People are getting into the technicalities of what the rule says, but if he’d stayed there it would have been a free kick. He gave him the warning and it didn’t impact the play.
Gillon McLachlan

What a cock-and-bull explanation this is. This is 50 shades of nonsense.
Gerard Whateley

AFL integrity is shaped like a goal post. It is thick enough on the ground but the higher you go, the thinner it gets.
Chip Le Grand

Not intentional? Pretty sure he intentionally climbed the post resulting in it to shake. No matter what team you go for, the AFL is a laughing stock.
Daniel Hayden

Might as well start playing the game under the Bigtop, the AFL has already provided the clowns.
Ryan Burford

What a surprise. The AFL find they were right.
Jason Lawson

The AFL has become the Absolute Farce League.
Jonathan Cooper

Sydney Swans’ Dane Rampe fined for post-climbing exploits despite umpires, Gillon McLachlan giving it OK
Dane Rampe hit with two fines in staggering AFL carve-up

Image-obsessed AFL can’t pretend to be the great moral arbiter