Tony Abbott’s promise to “shirt-front” President Putin when he’s here for G20, has received worldwide coverage.

Some have praised the PM, while others believe it was a stupid comment, and could have serious consequences.

Celeste Skinner reports.


It was the AFL term that shocked and confused the world.

Tony Abbott, Prime Minister: “Look I’m going to shirt-front Mr Putin.”

Major Global news services including the BBC, the Wall Street Journal and even a newspaper in China, weighed in on the issue.

Outspoken Palmer United Senator, Jacqui Lambie, says it was unbecoming but she confused her chemicals.

Jacqui Lambie, PUP Member: “Abbott certainly doesn’t have the room to be running around like a testorone fuelled schoolboy playing on a football field. He is a PM.”

Liberals, backed their leader.

Steve Ciobo, Liberal MP: “Frankly I think Australian people would expect nothing less, than a Prime Minister who’s willing to stand for what’s right.”

The Russian media hit back saying Australia’s leader would be no match for theirs, who’s a former KGB strongman.

Prof Michael Wesley, Australian National University: “I think Russia is sending a signal back. I think President Putin is sending a signal back saying I may very well be shirt-fronted but I really don’t care what Australia says.”

For anyone still confused this, is what “shirt-fronting” actually is.

It’s a head on charge that aims to bump an opponent to the ground.

Mr Abbott’s comment related to asking President Putin why Russian backed rebels shot down a Malysian Airlines plane, killing 38 Australians.

Jacqui Lambie, PUP Member: “The only way to do that and find out the answers about what happened to that aircraft is by making sure he’s on friendly terms to start with as soon as President Putin arrives.”

The G20 begins in Brisbane in less than five weeks.

We’ll find out then if the two leaders will ‘front’ each other.

Celeste Skinner, QUT News.