Collingwood is facing an AFL sanction after injured stars Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe were spotted using their mobile phones during Friday night’s loss to West Coast.
De Goey was spotted on the television broadcast retrieving his and Howe’s phones from a box containing devices from all the Magpies players in the change rooms during the second quarter at Optus Stadium.
It’s understood both players were using their devices to contact family to let them know they were okay after suffering injuries, with De Goey copping a concussion and Howe hobbling off with a hamstring injury.
However, the AFL has strict rules regarding mobile phone usage during matches surrounding the integrity of live betting markets and Collingwood has been served a ‘please explain’ notice before any sanction is decided from the governing body.
Every AFL has 10 staff members that are permitted to use mobile phones, with no players among them, and the players’ devices are supposed to be locked away until after the game is complete.
Collingwood captain Scott Pendlebury admitted the club was ‘at the mercy’ of the AFL regarding the rules breach, but suggested it was nothing more than an innocent slip up by De Goey, Howe and Magpie officials.
“Whether that role [of locking the phones up] got lost in translation or something happened there [I‘m not sure] – but we know as players that you shouldn’t be on them during the game and we’re sort of at the mercy of what the AFL want to do,” Pendlebury said.
“The boys and the club have put their hands up and we‘ll see what happens.
“You get educated enough about it – it‘s just a slip-up.
“If we get a warning it‘s a little reminder but if we cop a financial sanction it’s a fair warning to the whole league that we shouldn’t be doing that.
“I‘m not too sure of what those guys did – I think they just sent a text back home just letting their family know that they were OK.
“But obviously we know we‘re not allowed to do that and I dare say (across) the whole competition now that box will be locked right through to the end of the game.”