Dane Arthur's life ban lifted

A LIFE ban on an Upper Murray footballer has been quashed on appeal.

Dane Arthur was given the sentence after video evidence found him guilty of striking during the preliminary final last year.

The tribunal’s decision on that incident and another charge took the Cudgewa defender past the 16-game suspension threshold and he was automatically de-registered.

But Arthur is now free to continue his football career after a lifetime ban was overturned by the AFL Victoria appeals board earlier this month.

The VCFL’s North East area manager, John O’Donohue, said any player deregistered had the option to appeal.

“Once a player is deregistered he has the right to appeal,” O’Donohue said.

“What the appeals board is looking for is some form of evidence that the player has rehabilitated and is remorseful.

“But if the player is suspended again upon his return, that’s it for life with no further right of appeal.”

Under rules adopted last year, any player who is suspended for more than 16 games throughout their career can no longer play in the competition.

Arthur was the first player in the North East to be de-registered under the policy.

He sat out this season with his last match for the Blues as part of the losing grand final side last year.

Arthur was found guilty of unbecoming conduct after striking Bullioh forward Tom Hickey during the Upper Murray league’s preliminary final on August 25, last year.

Although the incident went unnoticed by the game’s umpires, Bullioh later lodged an application to have the matter investigated.

It was then referred to the tribunal after the season had finished where Bullioh presented video evidence, which played a significant role in seeing Arthur suspended for four matches.

However, due to a suspended four-game sentence already lingering over his head from a previous offence, Arthur’s suspension increased to eight matches and to a total of 16 for his career.

AFL Victoria created the de-registration policy to remove repeat offenders who pose an “unacceptable risk” to other players.

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