Isaac Heeney celebrates a goal during round four, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

SYDNEY will appeal the Tribunal's decision to uphold Isaac Heeney's striking suspension as debate rages around Brownlow Medal eligibility criteria.

Heeney was unsuccessful in overturning his one-match ban for striking St Kilda's Jimmy Webster at the Tribunal on Tuesday night.

As it stands, the 28-year-old will miss the ladder-leading Swans’ clash with North Melbourne on Saturday and is out of the running for the competition’s highest individual honour.

But a successful appeal would mean Heeney is reinstated as one of the Brownlow favourites.

It's expected the hearing at the Appeal Board will be held on Thursday evening.

Under AFL guidelines, a Tribunal decision can be appealed on one of the following points:

  • Error of law
  • That the decision was so unreasonable that no Tribunal acting reasonably could have come to the decision having regard to the evidence before it
  • Classification of offence manifestly excessive or inadequate.
  • Sanction imposed manifestly excessive or inadequate

On Tuesday night, Sydney argued the incident was careless and not intentional as originally graded by the Match Review Officer.

The AFL argued Heeney's action was a strike, leaving Webster with a bloody nose, and therefore intentional. The Tribunal agreed.

Isaac Heeney during Sydney's clash against St Kilda in round 17, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Carlton captain Patrick Cripps, who won the Brownlow two years ago after successfully overturning a Tribunal decision at the Appeal Board, on Tuesday joined calls for a review of eligibility criteria.

"It's obviously been a rule since it (the Brownlow) started," Cripps said of suspended players being ruled ineligible.

"I feel like how we're protecting the head and little incidents, I feel like it's definitely a thing that needs to be reviewed at the end of the year.

"Because you'd hate to see someone like Isaac, if he did win, miss out on the chance.

"He's had a great year and he's a great player, and I feel like he plays the game the right way."

Isaac Heeney is seen during round 17, 2024. Picture: AFL Photos

Melbourne coach Simon Goodwin also backed calls for a review of Brownlow eligibility criteria.

"With all the things that we evolve in our game (like) the protection of the head, there's always flow-on effects," Goodwin said on Wednesday.

"This is potentially one of those flow-on effects where it's a little bit easier to get reported these days and get suspended.

"So are these things that we need to look at in the game, especially around eligibility for a Brownlow Medal?"