Many Australians tune in each night to watch Waleed Aly host The Project, but it appears Shane Warne isn’t one of them. The cricket legend has lashed out at the controversial TV star over reports he has been drafted in to work with the AFL.
Following claims in the Herald Sun that the AFL had decided to work with Aly to improve the sport, Warne took to Twitter to blast the game for choosing the 40-year-old to come up with new rules – something Aly has since denied in his own response to the story.
“I love AFL football like so many other people – please tell me this is fake news & that this arrogant cretan is in no way involved on any level [SIC],” Warne said while sharing the article.
The 48-year-old followed his original tweet by retweeting a message by Rita Panahi.
“Waleed takes a break from telling us how racist Australia is & why terrorism is a mere ‘irritant’ to consult on footy rule changes,” she wrote. “The terrorism ‘expert’ who couldn’t work out what ideology motivated Boko Haram is going to fix the ruck nomination rule.”
Waleed takes a break from telling us how racist Australia is & why terrorism is a mere “irritant” to consult on footy rule changes. The terrorism “expert” who couldn’t work out what ideology motivated Boko Haram is going to fix the ruck nomination rule. 🤣 https://t.co/KpaKd8v2C4
— Rita Panahi (@RitaPanahi) August 20, 2018
Both Warne and Panahi’s disgust was echoed by basketball star Andrew Bogut, who also seemed confused by the AFL’s decision.
“I love your sense of humour,” he tweeted sarcastically with a serious of laughing emojis.
According to the Herald Sun, Aly will join former footballers and commentators of the game to discuss potential new rules. It is reported that Aly regularly attends games and was once a mascot for the Tigers. He was asked by football boss Steve Hocking to join Gerard Whateley, Gerard Healy, Mike Sheahan and Malcolm Blight.
While social media has been flooded with messages similar to those sent by Warne, Panahi and Bogut, others have welcomed the move.
Richard Hinds wrote: “I’ve talked footy with Waleed Aly plenty of times. He knows more about the modern game than a few people on the AFL’s silly rules panels and less than some others. But so predictable he is the one attacked for being asked his opinion.”
I’ve talked footy with Waleed Aly plenty of times. He knows more about the modern game than a few people on the AFL’s silly rules panels and less than some others. But so predictable he is the one attacked for being asked his opinion.
— Richard Hinds (@rdhinds) August 20, 2018
Others disagreed, with one AFL fan writing: “Waleed Aly advising the @AFL on proposed rule changes? I’ve heard it all now, I can’t stand the guy! Who’s next? Ray Martin, Alf Stewart, Darryl Sommers…AFL you’re always good for a laugh.”
Speaking to Gerard Whateley on SEN radio, Aly said AFLW CEO Nicole Livingstone gave him the chance to be briefed on what the AFL was looking at.
“TV host advises on rules — that’s categorically incorrect. I did not advise anybody, I was not consulted,” he said. “There’s been a lot of talk about three or four things that the AFL was pretty solid on doing to the game to make some changes to the style of the game, but no one was really saying in public what they were. So I was pressing her for information.”
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