COLLINGWOOD has been fined $20,000 for its players Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe breaching rules when using their mobile phones during last Friday's match against West Coast.
While the AFL was able to prove the players used the phones to alert family and friends of the extent of injuries suffered in the match, it determined that their actions breached Rule 30, which bans the use and possession of communications devices during a game.
De Goey and Howe had suffered match-ending injuries in the first half, respectively with concussion and a hamstring complaint.
It is believed Collingwood will foot the fine, and not pass it onto the players, as it, under the guidelines pertaining to the rule, should have locked the case containing the players' phones.
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De Goey accessed the open case and retrieved his and Howe's phones.
Under the AFL matchday rules on communication devices, which are part of the integrity measures in place to counter the exchange of information which could be used for wagering purposes, mobile phone use is banned in the change rooms for anyone outside 10 staff members officially declared an "authorised device carrier".
In the official AFL finding, the Magpies were told they needed better practices around the storage and security of mobile phones.
AFL General Counsel Andrew Dillon said all clubs should fully understand their responsibilities with this rule.
"The rules, which have been in place for a long time to protect the integrity of our code, clearly state no mobile phone usage during the match - it is a rule that clubs and players have been educated about and reminded of every year," Dillon said.
"Each club has authorised device users each match day that are there, in part, for the very reason the players used their phones – to contact family members if required. The players know this, the clubs know this, and we must adhere to this very simple but important rule to continue to protect the integrity of the game.
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"The AFL would also like to acknowledge Collingwood’s cooperation with its inquiries in relation to this matter and remind all clubs of their responsibility to ensure the proper process and procedure is followed on match day and phones remain secure."