Brisbane Lions hero Jarrod Berry has been offered a one week ban by the match review officer after an ugly incident on Friday night.
Berry came under the spotlight after the third quarter incident and on Saturday he learnt his fate.
The MRO noted it was “unreasonable or unnecessary contact to the eye region” of Clayton Oliver. The incident was assessed as intentional conduct, low impact, high contact.
It means Berry now, unless he can have the charge overturned, will miss the Friday night preliminary final against Geelong.
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Berry was the catalyst for the Lions with a second half for the ages as they stormed home from 22 points down to record the 13 point win.
Unfortunately Berry will now have to sit and watch on from the sidelines as his side battle it out against the minor premiers.
After a centre clearance from Oliver, the pair tangled and hit the turf at the MCG with Oliver above the Lions star.
As the scuffle continued, Berry’s left hand looked to have made contact with Oliver’s face with his fingers in a gouging motion across Oliver’s right eye.
Oliver complained to the umpire over the incident with the match review panel set to put it under the microscope.
“Definitely gone for the eye there, Berry,” commentator Brian Taylor said.
“There is absolutely no doubt that those fingers got tangled with Oliver’s eye.
“How forceful it was, is hard to tell. It’s not great vision though.”
You can watch the incident in the video player above
“I don’t want to use the word eye gouge, but we know when you get into this situation sometimes you’re doing things to try and get yourself out of them,” Fox Footy’s Garry Lyon said.
“Any hand around the eye or motion around the eye is always going to be something the MRO look on very sternly.
“It’s the first movement – it’s a slight raking motion of the eyes. I don’t think you can be a little bit guilty of this.”
Nathan Buckley said it’s “bittersweet” for Berry who is “very unlikely to see next week”.
Fox Footy’s Jon Ralph weighed in on the incident after the Lions pulled off the hoodoo-breaking win.
“I think he’s in strife, he doesn’t even have to be found guilty of eye-gouging which is the old fashioned charge,” Ralph said.
“All he needs to be found guilty of is one of two charges: unnecessary or unreasonable contact to the face or to the eyes.
“The issues is if he’s assessed as intentional, low impact and to the face or eyes then that’s a one week suspension. So if he can have it assessed as careless then that’s the best option for him to be available to play.
“But I would think that’s more likely to be intentional impact and I think it’s off to the tribunal.”
Berry was asked about the incident in the rooms and said there was “nothing purposeful” in it, saying it was “just a little scuffle in the centre of the MCG” and “part of the contest”.