AFL boss Andrew Demetriou has apologised to a dwarf wrestler for laughing at the news he had been accidentally set on fire during a television interview. 

Dwarf entertainer Arthur Serevetas said he, and his colleague Blake Johnston, had been hired to perform at St Kilda’s Mad Monday celebrations at the end of the regular AFL season. According to Serevetas alleged Johnston had his clothing set alight by a player using a gas lighter. 

“Part of his shirt and pants caught on fire,” Serevetas said. “After that someone put it out and he got ticked off and we basically left.”

When asked to respond to Serevetas’ allegations on Seven Network’s Talking Footy program, AFL boss Andrew Demetriou burst into what fits of giggles. Now, Demetriou has been forced to defend his gaffe and apologise profusely to Johnston for the whole thing. 

“I was actually giggling in the beginning because I’d been told by the producer during the break before we went onto the next segment and I thought they were having me on,” Demetriou told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Tuesday.

“When this was brought up, I just thought it was incredulous to think that this could possibly be.”

Demetriou maintains that he simply thought the story was intended as a prank on him until he subsequently read a published article on it and realised his mistake. 

“After I found out that it was true, it’s just reprehensible,” Demetriou said in a statement. 

“I was flabbergasted, because in the scheme of all the things that we’ve been (through this season), that would’ve been one thing I could have never predicted that we would deal with.”

“It wasn’t meant to be offensive and I apologise to anyone who is offended.” Demetriou also said that he had personally contacted Mr Johnston to apologise and enquired about how he was after the incident. 

Dwarf My Party (the company that hired out Mr Serevetas and Mr Johnston to the St Kilda club party) has demanded an explanation from the St Kilda Football Club. 

The company have also told Johnston that he should seek some kind of compensation from St Kilda – a sentiment that his colleague Mr Serevetas agrees with. 

“I said in my opinion I think you should pursue it, I think you should get compensated at least for your shirt and pants and I told him to make sure he checks that his skin didn’t get burnt or anything like that,” Serevetas said.

The AFL has also demanded a full explanation from St Kilda and are apparently investigating the incident. 

Image: YouTube