North Melbourne coach Brad Scott is in hot water following his attack last night on the AFL umpiring department.
Scott had claimed umpires told his players that forward Lindsay Thomas would not receive free kicks for head-high contact because “he is a ducker”.
The AFL has reviewed tapes and audio from last night’s Hawthorn-North clash and has been unable to corroborate Scott’s claims.
North has been forced to release a statement saying: “The club is embarrassed by, and accepts full responsibility for, the situation that has unfolded. And unreservedly apologises to the umpires for any distress it may have caused them.
“The club accepts its players are not umpired differently and the umpires do not have “preconceived ideas” going into games.
“After discussion with players and AFL it’s been established conversations between players and staff were misconstrued and relayed incorrectly.”
At the post-match media conference, Scott had been asked if he thought Thomas was unfairly treated by the umpires.
Scott replied: “I know he is, because the umpires told our players ‘well he’s a ducker, so we don’t pay high free kicks to Lindsay’.
“They told our guys that. That’s clearly a preconceived idea.
“You just want the umpires to umpire what they see, not their preconceived ideas.”
Thomas kicked three goals in the loss and was involved in several contentious free kick decisions during the match.
He gave away a 50m penalty for a high bump on Josh Gibson that looked legal.
It also appeared Thomas missed out on a couple of a free kicks for high contact.