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Tony Abbott’s fighting talk has backfired after his threat to ‘shirt front’ Vladimir Putin has left many Aussies, and probably Putin, a little confused.

The Prime Minister was promising to confront the Russian President over the shooting down of flight MH17 in July, a move that has generally invited support.

However, he has found himself having to explain exactly what he meant by using the sporting term ‘shirt front’.

In AFL, to ‘shirt front’ means to charge a player so hard that they hit the ground, while in rugby, it means grabbing the front of the shirt in a challenging manner.

Of course, Abbott does not intend to physically attack Mr Putin, but he did clarify just how aggressive he intends to be, saying he is “absolutely determined to have a very robust conversation”.

Putin will be travelling to Australia for the G20 summit in November, and although Abbott originally planned to ban him from the country, the G20 consensus is not to sideline the Russian Government.

Abbott has already faced criticism over how he handled the MH17 disaster, in which a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpar was shot down over Ukrainian soil, killing 298 people, including 38 Australian residents.

Although his plans to help affected Australian families have been welcomed and supported, his decisions to send troops to Ukraine and to travel to Amsterdam and London were generally regarded as unnecessary.

This latest statement has caused Senator Jacqui Lambie to state that Abbott is full of “testosterone and bad manners”.

Let’s hope the diplomatic dealings of the G20 don't lead to fisticuffs.

Below: Abbott imagines getting Putin in a headlock...


Abbott forced to clarify his ‘shirt front’ threat to Putin
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