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Melbourne defender Steven May fined for staging by AFL match review officer

Melbourne defender Steven May fined for staging by AFL match review officer

Melbourne defender Steven May has been fined by the AFL’s match review officer for staging.

The Dees star has been under fire since Saturday night when he appeared to be exaggerating a head injury after being claimed in a tackle by North Melbourne’s Eddie Ford.

WATCH ABOVE VIDEO: Steven May is awarded a free kick for a dangerous tackle.

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For this, May was fined $1,875, which can be reduced to $1,250 with an early guilty plea.

Under the AFL’s official guidelines, staging can include – but is not limited to – excessively exaggerating contact in an unsporting manner.

It can be a reportable offense because it can “affect the referees’ decision-making, incite melees and/or not be in the spirit of the game”.

Gold Coast forward Ben Ainsworth and Essendon captain Zach Merrett were fined for staging last year, but they are rare cases. On average, only one couple breaks up per year.

Ford made what looked like a fair play, but the two spun together before May collapsed to the turf.

Steven May shook his head after the tackle.
Steven May shook his head after the tackle. Credit: Channel 7

The star defender immediately caught him on the head, which may have had an impact on the referee, who took his time before finally awarding a dangerous attacking free-kick.

May was slow to rise but was eventually undisturbed and took the comfortable kick to a chorus of boos from the angry North fans.

Replays showed that May’s head barely hit the ground and that it was mainly his shoulder that absorbed the impact.

“It was perplexing to me. It was not paid early. The ref really looked after him and didn’t pay it when the motion was made,” Essendon great Jobe Watson said in commentary.

Former Melbourne captain Nathan Jones agreed it should not have been a free kick.

“It’s not a free kick for me, I don’t think there’s a genuine throw, throw movement. Obviously they’re twisting, but I feel like his shoulder hit the ground first,” he said.

Former AFLW star and Channel 7 commentator Kate McCarthy said May’s actions were “an appalling sight”.

“Exactly what we hope not to see from the players. Making his head hit the ground then clinging to it. Referees have a pretty tough job, don’t do that nonsense,” she said.

He has been the center of attention since the tackle.
He has been the center of attention since the tackle. Credit: DANIEL POCKETT/AAPIMAGE

West Coast player Will Schofield offered a potential solution.

“Players who hang their heads after a ‘dangerous tackle’ should be immediately sent off the ground for evaluation – whether they’re faking or not,” he said.

One fan added on social media: ‘This is embarrassing from Steven May! He deserves a huge fine and all the heat that comes his way.”