Two Australian Rules Football players suffered serious cuts to the hands and arms after running into LED displays that surround the field. Now the AFL will investigate the use of the displays at its locations.
Players Mark Blicavs and Zach Tuohy were injured within minutes of one another by running into the display. Both players required stitches, with Blicavs needing 14 to close cuts to his hand and elbow.
Their coach, Paul Roos, said after the game that the injuries need to be examined. “Let’s not talk about approval and distance, we’ve had two blokes run into the fence — one’s had 14 stitches. It’s unacceptable — find a solution,” Roos said after the game.
The coach said he had heard that the new LED displays have sharp edges, but did not know for sure before the game.
The AFL said it will look into the situation as a way to protect players and their health, and there will be a safety review of the LED displays at all stadiums. “I will acknowledge the fact that that stadium is fit and has certainly been risk-assessed, it’s in alignment to all the stadiums around the country,” league chief Steve Hocking said on Monday. “The LED is the same as what’s on display at the MCG, the same as Etihad Stadium, the same as (Geelong’s) stadium. It is unfortunate and we’ll work with the club over the coming days to see what we need to do to support the players.”
Hocking said the issue is not the amount of space between the playing field and the LED displays. “The run-off is within the legal limits,” he said. “(But) they certainly hit it with some force. I managed to watch that game and it’s disappointing and for those instances to happen in the same quarter was just extraordinary as well. There’s definitely an element of (bad) luck there.”