HAWTHORN coach Alastair Clarkson has avoided sanction for his comments on umpiring following Saturday's loss to Sydney, but it has forced action from the AFL.  

League general manager of football operations boss Steve Hocking wrote to all clubs on Tuesday to remind coaches, players and officials of their responsibilities when addressing umpires under AFL regulations. 

>> WATCH CLARKSON'S POST-MATCH PRESS CONFERENCE IN THE PLAYER ABOVE

It comes after Clarkson suggested the Swans were playing with an advantage in their win over the Hawks. 

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"A low-scoring game and the free kicks are 22-13 against … it's like we're giving them an extra player on the ground," Clarkson said in his post-match press conference. 

'NOT IN THE SPIRIT OF THE GAME' Read the AFL's full statement

"That's the way it goes. There will be games where we're ahead in the free kick count. It didn't work out for us this game."

The comments made in recent weeks are against the spirit of the game and are not examples of the conduct required by leaders within the AFL

Port Adelaide coach Ken Hinkley was also left bemused following his side's loss to St Kilda on Saturday night. 

"There is absolutely no doubt that it (umpiring) is more confusing today than it has ever been," Hinkley said.

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"The game shouldn't get adjusted from week to week. The rules are the rules, they don't need to change.

"We just need to umpire them consistently."

Injured Geelong forward Josh Jenkins also took to Twitter after the Cats lost the free kick count 10-22 in their 22-point loss to Collingwood in round seven. 

The AFL issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon

"The comments made in recent weeks are against the spirit of the game and are not examples of the conduct required by leaders within the AFL," the statement read.  

"The message today is to be expressive, have an opinion, and provide insight for fans, but to do so in a manner that shows a level of respect to all involved."

It also pointed to AFL Regulations that relate to umpires. 

15.1 Public Comments on Umpires

Any person subject to these Regulations or AFL Rules, shall not make any public comment about an Umpire or a decision made by an Umpire. Where a person contravenes this Regulation, the person’s Club shall be liable to a sanction: 

Sanction: Up to 20 units ($20,000) for first offence. Up to 100 units ($100,000) for a second or subsequent offence 

15.2 Approaches to Umpires 

(a) No person subject to these Regulations shall approach, talk to or intimidate an Umpire at any time prior to, during or after a Match including during the quarter time, half time or three quarter time interval or when the Umpires are entering or leaving the Arena. 

(b) Any team address shall be given outside the centre square.  

Where a person contravenes this Regulation, the person’s Club shall be liable to a sanction: 

Sanction: Up to 20 Units ($20,000) for first offence. Up to 50 Units ($50,000) for second and subsequent offence