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Racism at Adelaide v Port Adelaide Match Condemned

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The round three Showdown match between Adelaide and Port Adelaide was marred by several unsavory incidents. Which came first is unknown but there was a brawl between a number of spectators in the stands and verbal racial abuse directed at Crow Eddie Betts (who had a banana thrown at him in 2016 - the perpetrator had her membership revoked) and Paddy Ryder. Both clubs have issued statements condemning the incidents and are working with the AFL, Adelaide Oval management, and police

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Banned Bombers Lose Appeal

 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

The Swiss Court For Arbitration in Sport (CAS) has dismissed the appeal filed by the 34 former and current Essendon players. The player were initially cleared by the AFL Anti-Doping Tribunal, but WADA's appeal to CAS overturned that verdict and the players then launched their appeal against the banishment. With the penalty backdated to account for procedural delays, the players were effectively ruled out of the entire 2016 season.

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Expansion Teams: Finals Success and Failure

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Up until 1986, there were only 12 teams in the then VFL (the name changed in 1990), comprising the original teams from 1896 as well as Hawthorn, Richmond, Footscray (now Western Bulldogs) and North Melbourne being admitted later (see our Footy FAQ for more history).

All these teams were based in Victoria, seven in Melbourne and the Cats in Geelong (just an hour's drive west of Melbourne). In 1987, the league decided to expand their horizons in an effort to spread the game.

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Giants Cut Down Power

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Adelaide Oval

Greater Western Sydney has ticked another box in its development as an AFL powerhouse. The Giants staged a gutsy comeback against Port Adelaide in blustery conditions at Adelaide Oval on Sunday afternoon. Trailing by 20 points at half time against a Port team desperate to win and still hoping to reach the finals; the Giants showed great determination to take control of the game and run out 19 point victors. The Giants vaulted themselves into second place on the AFL ladder.
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Dockers Shutdown Power

Chris Kowald reporting for AFANA from Domain Stadium, Perth.

In the clash of the two port teams, the Fremantle Dockers showed more desire for the ball than Port Adelaide. Port, a team that has promised their fans so much in recent years, have stumbled when they were within touching distance of the top eight.
Power Turned Off
The Dockers are suddenly among the league's hottest clubs trying to erase memories of the worst season start in club history.
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Giants Crush Power in Capital

Brook “Boris” Kilpatrick reporting for AFANA from Canberra

The Greater Western Sydney Giants have destroyed finals aspirants Port Power in a dominant display at Manuka Oval on Sunday afternoon in Canberra.

In downing the Power by a whopping 86 points the Giants set a number of club records including registering their highest score and biggest winning margin in their short history.
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Footy World Divided On Replacement Players

 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Here are reactions from around the footy world to the replacement players allowed for Essendon, but not for other affected clubs:

Journalist Martin Blake, who has a weekly spot on Kevin Bartlett's show Hungry For Sport, said that since the players had been convicted, there should be no compensation. He accused the AFL of compromising, saying the league didn't want a powerhouse club like Essendon to not be able to field a team. He said the club should just have elevated the rookies.

Former Bulldog and Tiger coach Terry Wallace queried why Port Adelaide weren’t allowed to replace Angus Monfries,

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What's Next For Essendon and AFL

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

THE FALLOUT

For the immediate present, the two biggest issues facing Essendon are replacing the suspended players and whether or not Jobe Watson keeps his 2012 Brownlow Medal. The league has already put provisions in place for replacement players for Essendon as well as Melbourne, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs. For the latter four, they can upgrade rookies to their a rookie to their respective senior lists to replace the suspended players.

Of course, it is a bit more complicated for Essendon. However, the AFL had held meetings with Essendon and the AFLPA and came up with several resolutions:
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Footy World Reacts To Essendon Verdict

 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

THE REACTIONS

Needless to say, almost everyone was shocked at the decision by the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS)- not so much the verdict itself but rather the severity. The 34 past and present players, their families, friends and supporters are devastated. The AFL, AFLPA and Essendon have all excepted the verdict and are and will be the ramifications.
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World Court: Essendon 34 Guilty

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago 

Essendon's worst fears were realized on January 11 with the Court of Arbitration for Sport finding 34 past and present players guilty of taking banned substance Thymosin Beta-4. Even with backdating and time served during the provisional suspensions, the active players in both the AFL and at other levels of competition are banished until mid-November. The suspensions also mean no contact whatsoever or training with their respective clubs.Twelve of the 34 are still at Essendon while the others have either retired, been delisted and gone elsewhere or traded.

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