Dejected West Coast Eagle Andrew Gaff sits on the bench after his hit on Fremantle's Andrew Brayshaw.
Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Dejected West Coast Eagle Andrew Gaff sits on the bench after his hit on Fremantle's Andrew Brayshaw. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images

‘Disgrace’: Gaff’s ‘special treatment’ blasted

AFL star Andrew Gaff has received a police escort at Melbourne Airport ahead of tonight's tribunal hearing, sparking a mountain of backlash from fans and commentators.

The 26-year-old flew to Victoria on Tuesday morning after punching 18-year-old Dockers star Andrew Brayshaw in the western derby on Sunday.

Gaff was met by Australian Federal Police officers on the tarmac and escorted away from a waiting media pack. It was not well received.

"What right does Andrew Gaff, a footballer, have to get special treatment like that? I tell you what, you've got it made if you're born a footballer in this country," Channel Nine's Tony Jones said on 3AW Melbourne.

Herald Sun footballw riter Jon Ralph tweeted: "Eagles deny they play by different rules to anyone else then Andrew Gaff gets a police escort through the airport. Reckon that needs some explaining. Only explanation is if there is a viable threat against him surely?"  

The West Coast star will front the tribunal on Tuesday night for the punch that left Brayshaw with a broken jaw.

The Fremantle teenager cannot eat solids for a month.

Gaff was referred directly to the tribunal after the incident during Sunday's tumultuous Western Derby.

It is the biggest tribunal case of the year, eclipsing the five-game suspension for GWS star Jeremy Cameron.

Precedents point to a seven-game ban for Gaff, which would end his season.

His best case scenario is that the penalty somehow is reduced to six matches. But even then the only way he returns this year is if the Eagles make the grand final after losing their qualifying final, which is likely to be in Perth.

Sydney forward Barry Hall was suspended for seven games in 2008 after he knocked out West Coast opponent Brent Staker.

Last year, Melbourne forward Tomas Bugg knocked out Sydney defender Callum Mills in a similar incident to Gaff's punch.

Bugg was banned for six weeks, but significantly Mills played the following week.

That incident was graded as high impact - Gaff's was graded as severe and also intentional.


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