AFL elects not to appeal landmark Tribunal decision to clear Brayden Maynard

The AFL has opted not to appeal the Tribunal’s decision to absolve Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard of his rough conduct charge, igniting claims that an “injustice” has been done.

Fierce debate has surrounded the Tribunal case concerning Maynard’s hit on Angus Brayshaw, which was deemed careless conduct of severe impact and high contact and referred straight to the Tribunal.

On Tuesday night, Collingwood successfully cleared Maynard of any ill intention in the heavy collision which saw Brayshaw knocked out cold for several minutes in the first quarter of Melbourne’s seven-point qualifying final loss.

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The key defender is now available to suit up for Collingwood’s preliminary final next week against the victor of Port Adelaide and GWS’ upcoming semi final.

As per Tribunal guidelines, the AFL had until midday on Wednesday to determine whether or not to appeal the verdict, eventually opting not to draw out the case.

“The AFL has confirmed that after careful consideration and review of the Tribunal’s decision and reasons following last night’s hearing into the incident involving Collingwood’s Brayden Maynard and Melbourne’s Angus Brayshaw, the AFL has decided not to appeal the Tribunal’s decision,” the league’s statement read.

Speaking live on radio during the tribunal hearing, Brayshaw’s brother Hamish said it would be an “injustice” if Maynard avoided suspension and the AFL did not appeal.

“I think if it went not guilty and no one appealed it from there it would be, I think, a little bit of an injustice,” he told SEN’s Sportsday.

“Just because if it went the other way I’m sure that Collingwood would be appealing it.

“I’m not over the ins and outs of the Tribunal but if you leave the ground to make contact with the face and you knock someone out, that’s been the way it’s been.

“I understand it’s different with the pressure of a final and all the rest of it. There’s been a lot of people saying it’s going to set a precedent and it’s divided a lot of people.

“For me, at the end of the day, the outcome of that doesn’t bother me as much as the outcome of [Angus’] health.”

The decision comes as a surprise after AFL House pushed for Maynard to be charged.

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Newly appointed footy boss Laura Kane and chief executives CEO Andrew Dillon and outgoing CEO Gillon McLachlan called on match review officer Michael Christian to escalate his original settlement.

This caused an altercation with Christian sticking to his decision that Maynard had “no case to answer”.

“Michael Christian was adamant that there was no charge to be laid. The AFL, those bosses insisted on sending this one straight to the tribunal and more disputes occurred when the AFL insisted on grading the charge,” The Age’s Caroline Wilson told Nine’s Footy Classified on Monday night.

The league said it would release a further statement later on Wednesday.


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