SHOCK BAN: Cats star suspended for AFL Wide Bay Grand Final
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Hervey Bay Bombers
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AUSSIE RULES: Gympie Cats captain Lanze Magin has been suspended for Saturday's AFL Wide Bay grand final clash against the Hervey Bay Bombers in a huge blow to the club.
Magin fronted the AFL Queensland tribunal in Brisbane mid-week after being cited for threatening an umpire following the Cats' 10-point victory over the Bombers in Bundaberg on August 18.
There are conflicting reports on exactly what Magin said, but the talented midfielder received a four-week ban, ruling him out beyond the last and most important game of the 2018 season.
AFL WIDE BAY GRAND FINAL - CATS V BOMBERS THIS SATURDAY
AFL Queensland CEO Dean Warren said in a statement the state's position on umpire abuse remained "really clear".
"Our position on umpire abuse and (threatening) behaviour by players and spectators is really clear - there is no place for it in our game and it will not be tolerated," it said.
"Umpires are a critical part of our football community, they love the game and play a vital role. We've seen a positive reduction in umpire abuse in recent years and the respect from clubs in the past year or two has been great."
The statement said abuse had been a factor in umpires walking away from community football, while "umpire recruitment and retention is still a major challenge".
Magin's latest indiscretion comes on top of a three-week suspension he copped in June for allegedly headbutting a Bombers player during their Round 12 clash. He was sent from the field for an off-the-ball hit on a Bay Power opponent in his return match on July 28.
Cats coach Courtney Findlay did not witness the most recent incident and said his captain's actions "came as a surprise".
"My understanding is that he was asking the question about certain aspects of the game, and the umpires weren't happy with his conduct; he had some pre-suspension stuff during the year which wouldn't have helped his cause," Findlay said.
"I think it bubbled over a little bit ... and he had a little bit of a brain snap from what I can gather.
"We certainly have some standards at our club that we like to retain, whether it's the captain, player, coach or administration.
"The suspension is disappointing. It's a disappointing result, but my point of view is that I have to support the player no matter what."
Findlay said it was hard to comment on the ban, and was adamant the Magin incident did not reflect the club's attitude towards umpires.
He said the club would "put their arms around him" throughout the ban.
The Cats take on the Bombers for premiership glory at Norm McLean Oval from 5pm on Saturday.