AFL Tribunal bans Eagles’ McGovern

West Coast will be without Jeremy McGovern for their crunch clash with Brisbane after the AFL Tribunal upheld the star defender’s one-match suspension on Tuesday night.

The jury rejected McGovern’s argument that his strike on Gold Coast’s Alex Sexton was reckless, rather than intentional, and that the impact was negligible.

It upheld match review officer Michael Christian’s grading of the incident as intentional conduct, low impact and high contact.

The ruling came after an entirely online hearing via Zoom – an AFL first – that lasted more than 1-1/2 hours.

It began in bizarre circumstances, with tribunal chairman David Jones asking an Amazon documentary film crew to leave the Eagles’ tribunal room on the Gold Coast, where McGovern was based.

The All-Australian defender’s suspension is a major blow for West Coast, who are smarting from an unexpected 44-point thrashing from the Suns.

The highly-fancied Eagles face Brisbane – another possible premiership contender – at the Gabba on Saturday night.

McGovern accepted a further $1000 sanction for rough conduct on Sexton in a separate incident.

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