East Perth forward Sam van Dieman has been suspended for three WAFL matches for vilification after an Anzac Day incident involving Perth opponent Jack Cooley.

The incident occurred late in the round 5 match at Mineral Resources Park. 

Cooley, who was van Dieman’s team-mate at the Royals in 2022, is understood to have asked for the matter to not be pursued.

But he was informed that at least one umpire had heard the comment made and that it would be reported.

Neither East Perth nor the WAFL released any information about the suspension but it became apparent when van Diemen was omitted from the team that beat West Coast yesterday.

The 23-year-old has kicked 29 goals in his 31 matches, including two against the Demons in the 21-point win.

Under Schedule 2 of the WAFL’s rules and regulations, a vilification matter will first go to a conciliation meeting where a penalty, if required, will be agreed between the offender and victim.

The matter will go to the WAFL Tribunal if conciliation cannot resolve the matter.

Under the previous WAFL rules, a first offence would draw an automatic three-match suspension.

Perth forward Harry Quartermaine was suspended for one match for vilification over a comment made to a Claremont player during pre-season.

Subiaco premiership star Josh Deluca was suspended for three games in 2018 for using the word “Asian” in a comment made to Claremont opponent Keifer Yu.

And in the most contentious matter in many years, West Perth’s Kody Manning was banned three games for a 2012 incident with East Perth’s Jarrad Oakley-Nicholls during a fiery WA Day derby.

Another West Perth player in Lewis Harvey was banned for three games in 2009 for abusing Subiaco’s Raphael Stack.

Harvey was playing at South Fremantle in 2012 when he was cleared of vilification after vigorously denying at the WAFL Tribunal that he had made a racist comment to an opponent.

A guilty finding would have triggered a mandatory six-match ban for a second offence.

IMAGE: afl.com.au