The Australian Football League (AFL) has come under fire after cancelling plans to honour the Queen with a minute's silence before its women's matches this weekend.
Several major sporting events in the UK, including all Premier League and EFL matches, have been postponed over the past few days as a mark of respect for Her Majesty, who passed away on Thursday at the age of 96.
In Australia, where the British monarch remains head of state, tributes to the Queen stretched far and wide this week, hence why the AFL's decision received such an almighty backlash.
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The Queen's death was acknowledged before the AFL men’s semi-finals on Friday and Saturday, but the women's league backflipped on a plan to follow suit.
A minute's silence was observed before the opening game of the round between the Western Bulldogs and Fremantle, but the Bulldogs insisted the pre-match ceremony was "insensitive" and backed the league's decision to abandon the gesture for the remaining eight games.
Bulldogs director Belinda Duarte said the minute’s silence "imposed a reflection on the impact of [the Queen’s] life and reign" and "unearthed deep wounds", particularly for indigenous people.
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However, indigenous elder Ian Hunter was one of thousands of Australians to blast the decision, telling the Herald Sun: "It is totally disrespectful to our country who is a part of the British colony, disrespectful, that’s what I’d say."
On social media, the backlash was even more severe, with some fans even calling for the cancellation of the AFLW altogether.
"This is an absolutely pathetic decision by the AFLW and an insult to sport. If the league got scrapped I wouldn't shed a tear," one Twitter user wrote.
"Not honouring QEII, one of the greatest women in history, with a minute's silence before today's game says all you need to know about AFLW," posted another.
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