THE AFL has expressed its disappointment to Channel Seven over the treatment of a controversial goal review in Saturday night's Hawthorn-Geelong blockbuster that camera stills confirm was correct.
AFL football operations manager Mark Evans told AFL.com.au on Sunday that Seven had disrespected fans and had unfairly left the score reviewer open to criticism.
Evans said Seven had acknowledged it hadn't accurately portrayed the incident and would make an apology during its Sunday coverage.
Evans, who attended the clash, said it was also unfortunate that fans at the ground weren't shown the camera angle that confirmed the right decision had been made.
Late in the third quarter of a typically titanic struggle between the premiership contenders, Hawthorn was nine points down and closing when a low set shot from veteran Sam Mitchell became the subject of conjecture.
Cats ruckman Hamish McIntosh jumped for the ball on the goal line and touched it with both hands at full stretch, sending the ball into a goalpost.
The goal umpire, who had been perfectly positioned straddling the goal line, called for a video review to determine whether the ball had crossed the line before hitting the post.
Following the review, Hawthorn was awarded a behind.
Seven showed two angles – one from a goalpost that suggested the Hawks should have been awarded a goal, and another inconclusive view from a camera on the goal umpire's hat.
At the ground, the only camera angle shown was the one in which the ball appeared to be over the goal line before McIntosh touched it.
When the review was completed, Hawks fans roared their disapproval, and Channel Seven commentators Brian Taylor and Luke Darcy also disagreed with the decision.
However, Evans was adamant the review outcome was correct.
"The goalpost cameras have a fish-eye lens which distorts close-up images. For reviews, we use the far-post camera, which is far more accurate," Evans told AFL.com.au.
"In the split-screen you can see the difference in perspective. It clearly shows that first contact is made with the ball before it completely crosses the line.
"We need to have some conversations with the broadcaster to make sure they show the right angle.
"They showed the close-up and a view from the goal umpire's hat, which we don't mind them showing because it illustrates how difficult a job the goal umpires have.
"But when there is such a close call, and the vision is available to show the strength of the system, we think that our fans deserve to be treated with more respect.
"Fans need to be provided with the same, accurate information that the reviewer is getting.
"We also had 70,000 fans at the game who missed that information, which was also unfortunate."
One goal line camera angle (below right) showed Mitchell's shot was a behind. Picture supplied
Evans said that a positive to emerge from the situation was "the quality of images that come from those high-definition (goalpost) cameras, which are probably better than some of the broadcast-quality cameras".
He also emphasised that the score review system has so far this season corrected 18 errors, while conceding operational problems had created three errors.
"On balance, it's shifted things to a much more accurate level. The challenge for us is to get rid of the three errors that we've made," he said.