AFL Riverina issue warnings to Rob Apted and Denis Rudd over Coolamon exchange

TWO Riverina umpires have been issued with warnings over their behaviour in a heated exchange at Coolamon last month.

Central umpire, Rob Apted, and goal umpire, Denis Rudd, attended a mediation session last week where both men acknowledged their roles in the unfortunate incident and apologised for their actions.

The two Riverina Umpires Association (RUA) members had to be restrained by colleagues in a heated half-time exchange in the middle of Kindra Park on April 29.

The incident took place at half-time of the Riverina League first grade game between Coolamon and Griffith and left players and spectators in shock.

Rudd chose not to return to the field in the second half after the exchange.

AFL Riverina’s two-week investigation found the confrontation was strictly verbal. The pair were restrained by quick-thinking colleagues to avoid it escalating any further.

The investigation also determined that the conduct of Apted and Rudd constituted level one breaches under the code of conduct. 

“AFL Riverina has issued each umpire with an official warning for their respective breaches of the Code of Conduct, noting that further breaches of the Code of Conduct may result in further sanctions,” an AFL Riverina statement read.

“A written apology will also be provided by both parties to each other, the Riverina Umpiring Association and AFL Riverina.”

The mediation session, held last Wednesday, was conducted pursuant to the AFL NSW-ACT Regulations and League By-Laws.

Neither Apted or Rudd have officiated since the incident but are free to return to the field as soon as this weekend.