Prime Minister Scott Morrison crashes into a child during soccer training in Tasmania on campaign trail

Both leaders are charging to the finish line of a six-week campaign, but the Prime Minister’s pledge to stop being a bulldozer might have come unstuck on Wednesday evening when he took part in junior soccer training in north-west Tasmania. 

In Devonport, in the marginal seat of Braddon, Scott Morrison proved he remained a formidable force on the soccer field during an appearance to spruik a promise to upgrade the team’s facilities if the Coalition is re-elected.

One unsuspecting young child found himself in the Prime Minister’s way when the 54-year-old thought he had a chance to steal the ball away from the young members of the Devonport Strikers’ under-eights team.

Instead, the ball was intercepted by Braddon MP Gavin Pearce, Mr Morrison tumbled into the child and the tackle cleared the way for one young Striker to score.

Mr Morrison showed concern for his opponent following the on-field incident.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

The Prime Minister showed concern for his opponent following the on-field incident.

“Where’s Luca? Hope he’s not in hospital!” Mr Morrison said.

“I look forward to coming back on another occasion.

“I think that when that grandstand comes down, I hear it might need a bit of a bulldozer to knock it down, so I might be able to help with that,” he joked.

A man in a shit sits next to a child after he tackled him
The fall happened right in front of the campaign cameras.(ABC News: Matt Roberts)

Luca’s club, the Devonport Strikers, said he was doing well after the run-in.

“We think Luca showed plenty of determination and effort to stop the PM scoring at all costs,” the club said in Facebook.

“The latest star of the election is OK and looking forward to being the star of the show at school tomorrow.”

Mr Morrison is far from the only leader to have found themselves in a political mishap on the sporting field.

Sporting pitfalls

Mr Morrison’s collision was reminiscent of then-London mayor Boris Johnson, who knocked over a 10-year-old boy during a game of touch rugby in Tokyo.

London's Mayor Boris Johnson collides with 10-year-old Toki Sekiguchi during a game of Street Rugby in Tokyo.
London’s then-mayor Boris Johnson collides with Toki Sekiguchi, 10, during a game of street rugby in Tokyo.(Reuters: Issei Kato)

Mr Johnson had his eyes set on the try line as he raced down the mini-turf pitch, bowling over young Toki Sekiguchi on the way.

The boy was not harmed and was soon up and running again.


In 1984, prime minister Bob Hawke was hit in the eye by a cricket ball during a social match in Canberra. He was taken to hospital after his right eye was cut when the ball smashed the lens of his glasses.

And John Howard famously bowled one right into the pitch during a visit to Pakistan in 2005.

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