THE AFL will appeal Toby Greene's three-match ban for umpire contact, sending the case to its Appeals Board.
However, the hearing won't take place until after the 2021 Toyota AFL Grand Final, after the Giants confirmed they would not appeal Greene's suspension, which already rules him out of the rest of the finals series.
The AFL agreed to the Giants' request, given the club's travel and quarantine requirements throughout the remainder of the finals.
GWS is currently quarantining in Perth ahead of their semi-final against Geelong at Optus Stadium on Friday night. If they win, the Giants will remain in quarantine until after the preliminary finals.
AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon said the appeal was made on the basis that the three-game suspension handed down by the Tribunal in a four-hour hearing on Tuesday was "manifestly inadequate". pod here
Dillon reiterated the AFL's position that respect for umpires and their safety needed to be protected, and it was the AFL's duty as the "keeper of the code" that it acted in the interests of everyone in the sport.
The AFL's Match Review Office had sent the Greene case – where he was cited for making intentional contact with field umpire Matt Stevic in Saturday's Sydney-GWS elimination final in Launceston – straight to the Tribunal.
AFL counsel Jeff Gleeson had pushed for a minimum six-week ban in the Tribunal hearing, but the panel opted for three.
AFL chief executive officer Gillon McLachlan indicated after the Tribunal hearing that the AFL itself would appeal the case. The Giants accepted the three-match ban and said they would not appeal it.
"I welcome the Tribunal verdict that it was intentional conduct and handing down a sanction," McLachlan said on Tuesday afternoon.
"If I'm honest, I find it, personally, and I need to be careful, hard to reconcile how it can be intentional conduct that was aggressive, demonstrative and disrespectful. I think (it) was found to be all of those things, and then only be three weeks.
"We asked for six (weeks), these are the facts. I'm finding that personally hard to reconcile how it can only be three weeks. As the CEO of the League I'm saying to community leagues and others that I find that decision perplexing.
"… I respect the Tribunal, they do a great job, I just find it hard to reconcile.
"I've asked the lawyers for review on that and I don't know, (we'll decide) tonight or tomorrow. We won't muck around and you don't appeal lightly. I just need to make sure we contextualise it all, I'll get some advice and make a decision as quick as we can."
The AFL has previously appealed three Tribunal decisions. In 2017, Bachar Houli was given a two match-ban for striking at the Tribunal before that was upgraded to four matches at the Appeals Board.
The AFL also appealed Tribunal verdicts handed down to Carlton brothers Ed and Charlie Curnow for umpire contact after both were originally hit with $1000 fines for careless umpire contact.
At the Appeals Board, Ed's charge was upgraded to intentional and he received a one-match ban, while Charlie was cleared.