The AFL advises that Ali Fahour, Head of Multicultural & Indigenous Partnerships & Programs, notified the AFL Executive that he was reported for a serious on-field incident while playing in a weekend football match in the Northern Football League (NFL).

A Tribunal hearing for this matter will be held on Wednesday July 5.

The AFL respects the role of the NFL Tribunal to handle this matter under its Rules and Regulations, and it is not appropriate for the AFL to comment in advance of the hearing.

Mr Fahour issued the following statement this afternoon:

"On Saturday afternoon, I was playing local football for my Club, West Preston Lakeside, and I struck a player from the opposition team during a melee on the field. 

"I accepted a 2-match suspension on Saturday afternoon, and rang my manager at the AFL, Andrew Dillon on my way home from the football match.

"The incident has been referred to the Northern Football League's Tribunal, which will sit on Wednesday night.

"I am deeply ashamed of my actions.

"There is no explanation or excuse.

"I accept that at no time is this kind of action acceptable on the football field or anywhere else.

"I will face the Tribunal on Wednesday and plead guilty, and make a formal apology to the Northern Football League, Dale Saddington, the Whittlesea football club and my teammates.  I will fully accept the outcomes of the Tribunal.

"I have apologised to Dale and hope that he accepts my apology, and his health is the most important issue.

"I understand that my actions reflect on my employer, the AFL and the programs that I oversee.

"The AFL's work in the community are so important – and I am extremely sorry that my actions take away from that work.

"I have spoken with my manager at the AFL, and they will not make comment prior to the hearing on Wednesday night."