Hodge calls for goal umpires to be able to pay free kicks

SEN - Wed, 19th Jun 2019 - 0 Comments

Brisbane defender and former Hawthorn captain Luke Hodge has weighed in on Ben Stratton’s two-week suspension for pinching and stomping charges.

The four-time premiership Hawk is happy that his ex-teammate put his hand up and admitted he got it wrong.

“I know Stratton – I guess most back pockets – will try and do what they can do get under the skin of their opponent and I think Stratton did the right thing as far as after the game he came and apologised and said he went too far,” Hodge told Sportsday.

“He said he’s never going to do it again and I think as a player as soon as you realise it’s gone too far, put your hand up and admit you’ve done the wrong thing.

“I knew the stomping was going to get a week. That wasn’t a great look. The pinching, I wasn’t sure how that was going to go, whether it was going to be a big fine or a week.”

Hodge added he feels the goal umpire should have the ability to pay free kicks in situations like that, where the field umpires cannot see what it is happening.

“I know the goal umpire is standing right there. If a defender is doing that in the goal square and no umpire can see it, the goal umpire can say to the umpire I’ve seen him do this, he’s pinched him, it’s a free kick,” he said.

“You don’t want umpires overruling everything, but if you can see the mark on his arm and he’s doing it consistently, the umpire can only really pay a free kick if he sees it then and there.

“Do you give the responsibility to the goal umpire and say if he’s doing it there when there’s no umpire, he has the ability to foul him.

“That might stop the player from doing it the first time and then we don’t have this issue moving forward.”

Stratton yesterday received one-game bans for stomping on Shaun McKernan’s foot and repeatedly pinching Orazio Fantasia in the loss to Essendon.