AFL world lauds Tigers veteran’s classy move

The AFL community has praised Richmond Tigers defender Bachar Houli following a classy exchange with an umpire during Friday evening’s clash against Port Adelaide.

Late in the second quarter at Adelaide Oval, Houli was pinged for holding the ball after he was tackled by Power forward Robbie Gray.

The 32-year-old unfortunately did not hear the umpire’s call of play on, believing he had taken a mark inside the defensive 50.

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Commentating on Channel 7’s coverage, footy legend Brian Taylor said Houli should have been given the benefit of the doubt, but Port Adelaide was controversially awarded a free kick.

Need Houli next time macca’s drive through attendant tells me the soft serve machine is still broken https://t.co/Ykbse3k2lq

Many players would have spat the dummy in the same situation, but Houli showed his class while seeking an explanation for the decision.

“We called it as much as we can,” umpire Curtis Deboy told Houli.

“But then you had plenty of time to attempt after we called play on.”

Houli replied: “I didn’t hear you. I’m sorry.”

Deboy responded: “I know it’s tough, but that’s all we can do in that situation.”

Bachar Houli gets an absolutely horrible call and accepts the umpires explanation without rancour. Amazing role model.#AFLPortTigers

Bachar Houli might be the only AFL footballer in that situation who wouldn’t have lost his shit. Too often the umpires don’t pay those.

What a cool interaction in a hot contest between Bachar Houli and umpire Curtis Deboy. A clear explanation met with a respectful acceptance, completed with a smile. Bachar is such a great role model both on and off the field. #AFLpowertigers

Former Port Adelaide star Dwayne Russell told AFL Nation: “There are a lot of guys in the AFL I wouldn’t believe, when they say they didn’t hear the umpire … but Bachar Houli is someone I definitely believe. He seems like he’d be one of the most honest guys going around.”

Houli has played 194 games for Richmond since joining the club in 2011, winning three premierships with the Tigers.

Port Adelaide held their nerve to claim a thrilling 11.13 (79) to 11.11 (77) victory over the Tigers, who suffer a second consecutive defeat.

The lead was exchanged on seven occasions throughout the match, but Robbie Gray’s clutch goal in the dying minutes was enough to secure the win for Port.

Richmond will next face St Kilda at Marvel Stadium on Thursday evening.

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