FREMANTLE footballer Harley Bennell was escorted off a Virgin flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast on Saturday.
Bennell, who has not played a game since joining the Dockers because of a calf injury, had been on club approved leave since Friday.
The 24-year-old flew from Perth to Melbourne on Saturday. He has confirmed to club officials that he consumed alcohol the previous day and on the flight to Melbourne.
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After arriving in Melbourne to await his flight to the Gold Coast, Bennell told the club he went to a cafe at the airport.
Shortly after boarding the Gold Coast flight he was asked to disembark by Virgin staff who believed he was affected by alcohol. Bennell co-operated with airline staff and returned to the Virgin Lounge.
Fremantle general manager of football operations Chris Bond said while the club was disappointed with the situation Bennell had placed himself in it would support the player.
“Due to a recurring injury problem which has prevented him from playing all of last year and now for the next eight to 10 weeks following another setback last week, Harley has been dealing with the frustration and disappointment of not being able to play AFL football,” Bond said.
“We are disappointed that Harley consumed alcohol to the extent that airline staff felt he was unfit to take the flight.
“Steve Rosich and I have been in regular contact yesterday and today with Harley, who will continue to assist Virgin and the AFL with any other inquiries they have.
“In the meantime, as a club it is important that we continue to support and provide guidance to Harley on how best to cope with the frustration and disappointment of not playing football.”
Originally published as Bennell kicked off Virgin flight
SOURCE: newsnow sport