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AFL boss must talk to fans about rules of engagement

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During 2019, the AFL's players have been uncertain about how the rules work, and the umpires, too, have seemed confused in how to apply these rules. But this uncertainty is the normal order of business for a messy game with a litany of grey areas.

Now, it is a portion of the game's fan base that has become confused about the rules governing their behaviour in the stands, about what will bring censure or ejection by security staff and/or police and what they can and can't say.

This Carlton fan was thrown out of Marvel Stadium on Saturday after an umpire pointed him out to security.Credit:Wayne Ludbey

The AFL claims there is no crackdown - not from their end, at least - but some of the rusted-ons in Melbourne, who tend to be more tolerant of excessive barracking, feel they are being more heavily watched and policed by Big Brother and the security company.

Whether it is a reaction to some violent incidents that attracted public attention this year and last, or if there's a connection to the more protective attitude towards umpires by the AFL, it is clear that these fans believe the environment has changed to one that is more zealous in policing the angry barracker.

It is natural to wonder, too, whether there is any link -........

© Brisbane Times