UPDATE: THE NFL has dismissed Eltham’s protest over its controversial one-point loss to Whittlesea in Round 11.
The grievance tribunal recommended to the NFL board to uphold the result, which it has accepted.
Eltham went to the NFL grievance tribunal on Monday night in an effort to overturn the result, with the Panthers believing the match should have ended in a draw.
The Eagles won the fixture 14.7 (91) to 13.12 (90) but Eltham knocked the ball across Whittlesea’s goal line from a stoppage to tie the scores at 91 points apiece in the last minute of the game.
A point was originally awarded by the goal umpire, only to be overruled by the field umpire who penalised a Panthers player for intentionally rushing the ball.
The clubs were made aware of the verdict this morning.
Eltham president Greg Wilson said the wrong decision was made by the umpire, but acknowledged the board’s verdict.
“They have to stand by what they have done and we can’t do much else,” Wilson said.
“We thought we had a reasonable case.
“At the end of the day, it is the wrong decision by an umpire and there are plenty of those that happen in a game of football.
“If you read the rules of the game, it (rushing the ball) can be done by the attacking side and not the defensive.
“They’re the rules of football, it is just a mistake made and unfortunately it didn’t go in our favour.”
The result leaves Eltham in seventh position on the Division 1 ladder and outside the top-five on percentage, while Whittlesea remain two games and percentage clear of relegation.
If Eltham was awarded two points for a draw, it would leapfrog them two points clear of Montmorency and West Preston-Lakeside into fifth position.
Montmorency coach Ben Haynes earlier told Leader the right decision would be for the league to keep the result as is.
“The umpire’s decision is the final decision,” Haynes said.
“To take it to the league after the facts, to me, seems a bit much.”
Haynes said if the league overruled the result, it could “open up a can of worms”.
“I don’t think it is a side of football anyone wants to see where we are going to appeal on the outcomes of games,” he said.
“That is getting a bit messy for mine.
“I just think the league will stand up for their umpires and say ‘that is the decision and to move on’ but time will tell.”
West Preston-Lakeside coach Leigh Cole said he would have accepted the umpire’s decision.
“I’m not sure there are too many times an umpiring decision will cost you a game of footy,” Cole said.
“Players and coaches make plenty more mistakes than an umpire during a game of footy.”