AFL to investigate Fremantle’s Hayden Ballantyne over phone use during game

By @hoopsdontstop30 on

The AFL will look into Fremantle Dockers forward Hayden Ballantyne after he was captured using his mobile phone during the club’s game against Richmond Tigers.

The AFL’s integrity unit will investigate Ballantyne’s use of his mobile phone during the Fremantle’s 14.6 (90) to 4.6 (30) victory over Richmond on Friday in Mandurah, reports Sam Edmund of the Herald Sun.

Under strict AFL rules, players are banned from using mobile phones or any communication devices during matches to stamp out the leaking of information that could be used for betting. Clubs are asked to nominate up to 10 officials who can use mobile phones ‘for official purposes,’ with the list being provided to league officials before game time.

According to Dockers coach Ross Lyon, Ballantyne was just probably letting his loved ones know he was okay after sustaining a minor setback. Ross also said he was sure that authorities from the AFL would take care of business on a short conversation about the issue.

“He’s got a wife and two young kids who are probably not at the game,” Lyon said after the game, reports The Guardian.

“If I hypothesise (what he texted), it’s probably: “I’m hurt - love I’m ok. And if it’s that, you would think he might just get a little tap on the wrist and we all move on, and common sense prevails. The integrity unit - there’s some pretty smart blokes in there, I’m sure we’ll figure it out.”

Ballantyne suffered a minor hamstring injury early in the second quarter and headed into the Mandurah rooms for treatment. The 28-year-old Ballantyne was then caught by Fox Footy’s camera talking on the phone while the match was ongoing.

The league will ask Ballantyne who he was speaking to and why, and may also crosscheck the player's’ device if necessary. He would likely escape with a fine over the incident and is expected to play for Round 1.