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Hall of Fame changes pave way for females to be inducted

Women's football pioneer Debbie Lee may be in line for elevation to the AFL Hall of Fame under changes made to induction rules - AFL,Hall of Fame
Women's football pioneer Debbie Lee may be in line for elevation to the AFL Hall of Fame under changes made to induction rules

CRITERIA for nominations to the Australian Football Hall of Fame have been loosened by the AFL Commission in a series of changes that is expected to see the first female inducted.

Clauses relating to media and administrators being retired before they could be inducted have been removed, which will likely mean a female currently involved in the game – such as Debbie Lee, Susan Alberti or Caroline Wilson – will be strongly considered in 2019.

The change comes as the AFL Commission also revealed the number of Hall of Fame inductees could rise from six per season to as many as eight from next year onwards.

"The Hall of Fame does not include any current female members among the many women who have made significant contributions to the growth of the game nationally," AFL Commission chairman Richard Goyder said in a statement.

"The revision to allow more than six inductees to be nominated in a year will enable the committee to annually consider both male and female nominations going forward, with all parts of the game to be asked to consider nominations."

Elsewhere, clauses relating to two 'recent player retirees' from the last 10 years being inducted have been removed, while changes relating to eligibility for Legend status have also been made.

Now, one Legend may be crowned every two years, as opposed to the previous rule that dictated 10 per cent of all Hall of Fame members must be elevated to the Legend group.

The Hall of Fame's selection committee will also consider the elevation of a number of deceased candidates for Legend status ahead of its 25th anniversary in 2021.