AFL's defiant message amid ump controversy

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The has backed all six free kicks awarded for dissent against umpires in round five in a resolute stand for whistleblowers, while identifying another six non-decisions.

Among the free kicks approved by AFL general manager of football was .

While the duo did remonstrate with the umpire after he paid a free kick, they were protesting because the forward appeared to take a dive.

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Scott has made it clear that regardless of the circumstances in which a free kick is paid, disagreement with an umpire is not allowed.

"It is incumbent on us at the elite level to set the standards of behaviour for all levels of the game," Scott said.

"We have fallen short as a football community and dissent towards umpires during matches has become an issue at all levels of the game, particularly at the community level where we are 6000 umpires short.

"Respect towards umpires and penalising players for showing dissent has strong support from everyone in football – including presidents, CEOs, coaches and football managers."

The AFL enforced a crackdown on dissent against umpires in the pre-season matches.

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"Our message to players is that when an umpire pays a free kick, accept it and move on, and our message to umpires is we encourage you to continue to pay free kicks or 50m penalties where players have shown dissent," Scott said.

"We will stay the course on this and acknowledge there have been instances across this season where we have missed free kicks for dissent.

"We commend players overall for the shift in behaviour this season and we are already seeing that reflected at the community level.

"It is not lost on us that the elite level has a unique leadership role in the community, and with that role comes responsibility."

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