Gold Coast are fuming after captain Touk Miller was suspended for one AFL game for conduct unbecoming over his contentious tackle on Brisbane rival Dayne Zorko.
Touk Miller was initially cleared by the MRO, but a subsequent AFL investigation has led to suspension
Gold Coast say Miller’s “integrity and character” have been tarnished by this process
Dayne Zorko brought the incident to national attention in a radio interview earlier in the week
The incident, in which Miller made contact with Zorko’s groin area while tackling him during last Saturday’s game, was cleared initially in match review.
But in a Monday radio interview, Zorko said his groin region was bruised after being squeezed.
His comments were the catalyst for an AFL investigation, with the two players interviewed, and Miller was subsequently suspended for Saturday’s away game against Adelaide.
Suns coach Steven King had defended Miller’s reputation on Monday, and immediately after the suspension was announced on Thursday Gold Coast made their thoughts clear.
“We accept the AFL’s decision but as a club we are extremely disappointed in the outcome,” Suns football boss Wayne Campbell said in a statement.
“Touk is the captain of our football club and has built a reputation as a fair and strong leader who is admired by the entire AFL community.
“He is one of the most highly respected players in the competition and it’s disappointing his integrity and character has been tarnished during this process.”
Miller added he had planned to execute a fair tackle.
“It was not my intention to harm Dayne and if that has occurred from my actions I would like to apologise to him,” Miller said.
On Monday, Zorko had fired up about the latest incident in the pair’s long-running rivalry.
“It’s interesting, you’re allowed to grab the groin region now and squeeze it and do whatever you want to it,” Zorko said on SENQ Breakfast.
“So that’s an interesting rule that’s been cleared by the AFL. It’s quite interesting that (he) got off.
“I tell you what, my groin region is quite bruised at the moment. It’s funny how that all happens.
“It must have been an accident … it’s an accident when they get up and smile and laugh about it, isn’t it.”
Source: AFL NEWS ABC