A TEENAGE footballer who called an umpire a cheat in a moment of frustration was suspended for three weeks on Tuesday night.
South Warrnambool's Ethan-Jon Harvey pleaded guilty to using abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene language towards or in relation to an umpire after admitting to calling field umpire Samuel Burns "a f****** cheat" during the Roosters' loss to Hamilton Kangaroos on Saturday night.
He received a three-week ban with one already served after he was given a red-card in the first term and missed most of the Hampden league round 11 match.
Harvey, 18, read a letter of apology to Burns after the evidence was heard, saying his actions were "out of line, unnecessary and completely false".
Harvey was red-carded at Melville Oval after reacting to a 50-metre penalty given against the Roosters.
He walked from the field "with my tail between my legs and went to the bench, pretty embarrassed".
"I was frustrated with my own personal form; it was nothing personal," Harvey said.
"I vented because he was in the area."
Burns, who is the Western District Umpires Association coach and has 13 years' experience including at state league level, opted against offering Harvey a two-week set penalty.
He said the cheat sledge questioned his "integrity as a professional standard but also as a person as well".
But Burns' biggest disappointment was such incidents deterred people from taking up umpiring and impacted people's longevity in the caper.
"It's about what is and isn't appropriate and to be spoken to like that isn't," he said.
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