THE AFL will not appeal the Tribunal's decision to clear Willie Rioli to play this weekend.

West Coast forward Rioli had initially been offered a one-match suspension by the Match Review for his high bump on Gold Coast star Matt Rowell, only to successfully overturn his ban at the Tribunal on Tuesday night.

The League spent Wednesday considering whether it would appeal the Tribunal's decision, on the grounds of reducing the incidence of head high contact, but came to the conclusion that the chances of a successful appeal were low.

"While the AFL does not agree with the outcome of the hearing, it accepts the decision and confirms it will not appeal," the League said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Due to the nature of the relevant appeal grounds available to it, the AFL considers that the prospects of a successful appeal in the circumstances are low and thus has determined not to appeal the Tribunal’s decision.

"The AFL considers that bringing an appeal without reasonable prospects of success is not an appropriate course for it to take.

"The AFL remains strongly committed to reducing the incidence of head high contact and will continue to impose sanctions where it considers it is appropriate to do so and in accordance with the rules."

01:01 Mins
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CRUNCH: Rioli and Rowell in massive collision, Dixon finishes with first goal

Willie Rioli has a big impact on his return game, after this assist and clash with Matt Rowell

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Tribunal rules dictate that the AFL, or a player, can only appeal decisions based on:

  • If an error of law has occurred.
  • If the decision of the Tribunal is so unreasonable that no Tribunal acting reasonably could have come to that decision having regard to the evidence before it.
  • If the classification of the offence by the Tribunal was manifestly excessive or inadequate.
  • If the sanction imposed by the Tribunal was manifestly excessive or inadequate.

Rioli was charged with careless conduct by the Match Review following the incident, but the Eagles camp argued it was a "legitimate marking attempt" and referenced Nick Riewoldt's iconic 2004 grab in their case to clear his name.

His advocate, David Grace QC, said there was "daylight" between Rioli's hip and Rowell's chin at the point of contact and insisted that a collision was unavoidable in the circumstances.

The Tribunal's jury deliberated for over 30 minutes and, despite finding that high contact was made, cleared Rioli to face North Melbourne this Sunday after dismissing his rough conduct charge.