Umps admit Thomas call was wrong

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AFL: North Melbourne coach Brad Scott is expected to issue a public apology to the AFL tomorrow and cop a hefty fine.

Lindsay Thomas was denied a head-high free kick on Friday night. Picture: Wayne Ludbey

THE AFL umpires’ department has accepted North Melbourne’s apology for coach Brad Scott’s post-match outburst after admitting Lindsay Thomas should have been awarded a free kick for a high tackle.

Umpires coach Hayden Kennedy said he was surprised by Scott’s extraordinary attack the umpires were biased against Thomas.

Kennedy said the umpires were offended and aggrieved by the allegations after North Melbourne’s loss to Hawthorn last Friday night.

“We don’t go out with preconceived ideas about actions of particularly players,” Kennedy said.

“The most important thing is that it was dealt with quickly by both the AFL and North Melbourne, which was great.

“The umpires were quite unhappy with the way things progressed.

“They felt their integrity was questioned, so it was great to get it cleared up really quickly.”

Lindsay Thomas and Jordan Lewis wrestle in last Friday night’s match. Picture: Wayne Ludbey

Lindsay Thomas and Jordan Lewis wrestle in last Friday night’s match. Picture: Wayne LudbeySource:News Corp Australia

But Kennedy said the umpires made an error not paying a free kick to Thomas after he was tackled high by Hawks defender Grant Birchall.

Hawthorn’s James Sicily kicked two goals after drawing free kicks for high contact.

“You can see that Lindsay does get taken high by Grant very quickly,” Kennedy told afl.com.au.

“It’s only brief, but (with) the slower motion from a different camera angle, you can see that the arm does go high and Lindsay deserves a free kick on that occasion.”

The AFL is expected to hand Scott a significant penalty after the Roos coach inaccurately claimed that umpires told his players Thomas was not getting head-high free kicks because he was “a ducker”.

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