Zak Butters during Yartapuulti's game against Hawthorn in R10, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

PORT Adelaide star Zak Butters remains eligible for the Brownlow Medal after having his one-match ban for striking overturned at the AFL Tribunal. 

But the Power face another big challenge on Wednesday night when they fight the three-match ban handed down to spearhead Charlie Dixon.

Butters was in hot water after whacking GWS midfielder Tom Green in the face in an off-the-ball incident on Sunday.

The Port star attempted to hit Green on the shoulder, but his hand deflected into the face of the Giant and was graded as intentional conduct, low impact and high contact.


Butters pleaded not guilty to the charge, with Port arguing the impact was not sufficient to justify a grading of low impact.

The three-member Tribunal panel of chair Jeff Gleeson, Jason Johnson and Paul Williams deliberated for just 17 minutes before clearing Butters, saying the force was negligible.

"The vision of this impact is not perfectly clear and does not clearly show that anything more than Mr Butters' fingers made contact with Mr Green's face," Gleeson said.

"Mr Green's head moves at about the moment of impact, but not significantly. 

"He does not react in the manner one expects if he had suffered a forceful blow to the face of more than negligible impact."


Butters gave evidence saying he only intended to push Green in the chest area.

"It followed through and my fingers briefly brushed his face," Butters said.

"I would disagree that it was a strike."

Butters said Green's head movement upon receiving the blow wasn't because of the force.

"I believe in that moment it was more him flinching ... than the actual force itself," Butters said.

AFL counsel Sam Bird disagreed.

"It's delivered with some momentum, and it's also an inherently dangerous act," Bird said.

"This is not a glancing with a few fingers to the side of the face. This is a strike to the side of the face."

Lawyer Ben Krupka, acting on Butters' behalf, showed an incident involving GWS forward Jesse Hogan from earlier this year.

Hogan was initially handed a one-match ban for striking Carlton's Lewis Young, but it was overturned after the Giants successfully argued it was negligible impact.

"In our case, the impact is clearly less than what is involved in (the Hogan) case," Krupka said.

Butters is a roughie for the Brownlow after averaging 27.2 disposals and five clearances per game so far this season, along with kicking seven goals.

He is now free to play in Saturday's crunch clash with Brisbane at Adelaide Oval.

On Wednesday night, Port will challenge the three-match ban handed down to Dixon at the SANFL Tribunal.


Dixon was handed the hefty suspension for his high bump on West Adelaide's Jordan White.

White was concussed by the hit, and the rough conduct charge against Dixon was assessed as careless conduct, high contact and severe impact.

North Melbourne's Kallan Dawson has accepted his one-match ban for elbowing Collingwood's Jack Crisp.