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Fagan takes leave of absence

Brisbane Lions coach Chris Fagan will take leave of absence from the club, after being embroiled in the alleged Hawthorn Football Club historic racism scandal on Wednesday.

The AFL is investigating the Hawks treatment of indigenous players during Alastair Clarkson's time at the club, Fagan serving as an assistant coach from 2008 to 2016.

The allegations of mistreatment came to light in an external review that was commissioned by the Hawks, and an ABC report that was published on Wednesday morning.

The Brisbane Lions said in a statement that Fagan was not consulted as part of Hawthorn's review and that he welcomed the AFL's investigation, but both club and coach had agreed he should take leave.

"The Brisbane Lions are aware Senior Coach Chris Fagan will work with the AFL on an investigation into allegations concerning historical events at the Hawthorn Football Club, where he was a former employee," the Lions said.

"Chris supports and welcomes the investigation. He was not consulted during the Hawthorn sponsored review and looks forward to the opportunity to be heard as part of the AFL investigation.

"The Brisbane Lions and Chris have mutually agreed that he will take a leave of absence from the Club so he can fully cooperate in the investigation.

"As the matters are now with the AFL Integrity Unit, the Brisbane Lions won’t make any further comment at this stage."

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said the AFL would investigate the allegations over the coming months.

"These are serious allegations, it is important we treat them appropriately, while also ensuring the formal process provides support for those impacted and also natural justice to those people who are accused," he said on Wednesday morning.

"This is a process that is appropriate to be held independent of the normal AFL Integrity department response.

"At face value, it's hard to find more serious allegations.

"We need to do more, and we will. We need greater education and safety in our game, and we will do that.

"There are so many people hurting today and have been hurting for a long time. As a game we will do everything to ensure the hurt you experienced is not a hurt experienced by others."

The future of Clarkson and Fagan in the game hangs in the balance, as the investigation into their alleged behaviour at the club is laid bare.

IMAGE: Fox Sports.


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