Eleni Glouftsis has become the latest field umpire to be dropped by the AFL in the wake of poor performances.
The Age understands Glouftsis will umpire in the VFL this week, following a string of poor decisions, including two crucial errors in the St Kilda versus West Coast clash last Saturday night, which resulted in two goals to the Eagles.
Head of umpiring Grant Williams and head coach Hayden Kennedy have addressed the issue with Glouftsis and are understood to have been supportive and educational in their approach.
With very few injuries to speak of and a squad of 34 to pick from every week, Glouftsis isn’t the only umpire to be demoted this season.
David Harris, who had umpired 116 games up until the start of this season, and Andrew Mitchell (112 matches) are two other officiators who have been noticeably dropped this season after a string of poor performances.
Gloutftsis went into this season with just 16 games under her belt.
As the game’s most criticised faction, umpires have been under increased scrutiny this season.
They were booed off the ground after a contentious last quarter between Collingwood and Essendon, with senior umpires feeling they were let down by the AFL because of the league’s refusal to speak up in support of the game’s adjudicators.
Gloutftsis was not one of the umpires at the MCG on Anzac Day.
AFL umpires have also been at the centre of the Dane Rampe debate, with umpires choosing not to pay a free kick against the Sydney co-captain for climbing the post in the dying stages of last Friday's win over Essendon.
League boss Gillon McLachlan later defended the umpires and said they officiated with common sense.
Rampe was also fined $10,000($5000 of which was suspended) for saying to an umpire that they sounded “like a little girl” during the second quarter against the Bombers.
However, the rift between senior umpires and the AFL football department continues to grow, with some of the most senior umpires in the game believing they don’t receive enough public support from inside league headquarters.
Despite McLachlan’s defence of them on the weekend, league football boss Steve Hocking has remained silent on the issue.
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