Fremantle assistant coach Josh Carr has been suspended for four matches and the AFL club handed a hefty fine for a breach of the Western Australia government’s strict quarantine directions.
Carr was stood down from Dockers coaching duties for rounds 20 and 21 after his quarantine breach in July, which followed the team’s trip to the Gold Coast for a game against Sydney in round 19.
The entire Fremantle travelling party was ordered to enter 14 days of home quarantine on return, as per WA’s border rules.
A police visit to Carr’s residence during that period established he was not home.
On Monday, the AFL determined Carr would be suspended for a total of four matches, with the remainder of the ban to be served in the opening two rounds next season.
The Dockers have been fined $25,000 – half of which is suspended – and the amount will be included in the club’s 2021 football department soft cap.
The penalty comes as the AFL leans on WA to complete this year’s finals series, with one semi-final, a preliminary final and the grand final set to be played at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
“The government quarantine orders are in place to best protect the health and well-being of our players and staff, their family and friends and everyone in the wider community,” AFL acting general manager of football Andrew Dillon said.
“We are in a privileged position to be able to continue to play matches and we must respect that privilege that is afforded to us by the relevant state governments.”
In July, Fremantle chief executive Simon Garlick said there was “no excuse” for Carr’s breach.
Garlick on Monday said Carr had agreed to pay the club’s $12,500 fine, on top of a $6000 fine he was dealt by WA police.
He said the AFL sanction reflected the seriousness of Carr’s breach and the potential to harm the league’s relationship with WA police and the state government.
“The level of cooperation and understanding among all parties during this season and last year is the reason we were able to keep playing,” Garlick said.
“It is not something we take for granted, and nor is the broader obligation the club and the AFL has to the community to do the right thing.
“Josh has demonstrated clear remorse for his actions, and as a highly valued member of staff, will continue to have the support of the club.”
First-year Dockers player Brandon Walker also breached quarantine orders in July when he walked his dog a short distance from his home.
Walker was issued with an infringement notice by police and an official warning by the club.
Pic credit: ABC Perth