THE AFL is appealing Bachar Houli's two-game suspension for striking Carlton's Jed Lamb on the grounds the sanction is "manifestly inadequate".
The AFL Tribunal found the Richmond defender guilty of striking on Tuesday night following his backhand hit on Lamb last Sunday, which left the Blues forward knocked out and unable to play on.
>> WATCH THE INCIDENT IN THE PLAYER ABOVE
The AFL announced shortly after Wednesday's noon deadline that it had lodged an appeal.
"The AFL wishes to advise that general manager football operations Simon Lethlean today notified the AFL Appeal Board and the Richmond Football Club that the AFL would appeal the two-game suspension imposed on Richmond’s Bachar Houli for striking Carlton’s Jed Lamb during the first quarter of Sunday’s round 14 match at the MCG," the League said in a written statement.
"Mr Lethlean said the AFL had appealed the two-game suspension on the grounds the sanction imposed was manifestly inadequate."
The appeal will be heard on Thursday night at 5.30pm by three members of the Appeals Board, which consists of Peter O'Callaghan (chairman), Brian Collis QC (deputy chairman), Brian Bourke, Michael Green, Stephen Jurica and John Schultz.
Houli argued at Tuesday night's hearing his strike on Lamb should be classified as careless, but Tribunal members David Neitz, Hamish McIntosh and Wayne Henwood found it was an intentional act.
Earlier Houli had submitted a character reference from Gold Logie-winning TV presenter and academic Waleed Aly and public comments from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
The MRP had on Monday graded the incident as high impact and high contact and referred the case directly to the Tribunal.
AFL legal counsel Andrew Woods submitted to Tribunal chairman Ross Howie QC that a four-game ban was the appropriate sanction, while Sam Tovey, representing Houli, asked for a two-match suspension.
The Tribunal deliberated for five minutes before finding Houli intentionally struck Lamb and another five minutes before settling on his penalty.
When the Tribunal handed down its verdict, it said it was "rare" to come across someone with Houli's character.
Houli had earlier told the Tribunal Lamb had been holding his jumper, so he had swung his arm back in an attempt to separate himself. He said he tried to connect with Lamb's "elbow to shoulder area".
Houli said he went to Carlton leaders Marc Murphy and Bryce Gibbs immediately after the game and said: "I'd never, ever do anything to hurt anyone".
He pointed to his record inside and outside football (never having been suspended in a 162-game AFL career or in junior football) and said the Blues pair accepted what Houli said.
Houli categorically denied intending to strike Lamb in the head.
"It's false, absolutely false. I've never hit anyone in my life," Houli said.