AFL General Manager Football Operations Mark Evans today said the AFL had received an application from the Port Adelaide Football Club to wear its prison bar guernsey with white shorts for Sunday’s First Elimination Final against Richmond at the Adelaide Oval.
Mr Evans said the AFL was of the view Port Adelaide needed to wear predominantly white, to ensure the best possible match-day presentation of the game, while acknowledging the strong view of the Port Adelaide club and members that it wished to wear its black home strip.
“The AFL is primarily concerned with players on the day, in every match, being able to clearly identify their teammates from opponents, as well as making the viewing of the match as easy as possible for both fans at the ground and those watching on television,” Mr Evans said.
Mr Evans said the AFL had explored all possible alternatives and decided placing Port Adelaide in white was the best outcome as;
- Richmond’s clash guernsey did not provide a clear enough distinction between the teams, due to its predominantly black reverse;
- Richmond’s indigenous round guernsey was predominantly black also;
- Richmond’s training-day guernsey was not appropriately produced for match-day use in a game.
“At all times, the AFL wants to avoid any scenario where a player may wrongly kick or handball to an opponent, and the introduction of this policy in recent years has ensured that players are able to distinguish team mates in high-pressure contested situations.”
Mr Evans said the AFL was prepared to place Port Adelaide in its prison bar guernsey and white shorts, due to a clear differentiation with Richmond’s guernsey, if the club was able to produce a full set of guernseys immediately before match day this weekend.
“While Collingwood is the club that has the right to wear black and white stripes within the AFL competition as its primary guernsey, they have agreed for Port Adelaide to wear its heritage prison bar guernsey with white shorts as a pragmatic resolution to produce the best outcome for this final.”