Junior footy inquiry delay
THE Southern Tasmanian Junior Football League’s investigation into on-field misconduct in an under-14 match between New Norfolk and Lindisfarne last month has been left incomplete after a key witness failed to appear at its tribunal hearing.
AFL Tasmania said the tribunal heard “six matters” last week. Four players received two-match suspensions and one was found not guilty. The sixth charge was against an adult from New Norfolk, who allegedly went on to the field after the final siren and struck a Lindisfarne player.
A statement released on behalf of the STJFL by AFL Tasmania said: “The final matter of the six [cases] was deferred due to non-attendance from one of the individuals reported. As a result of non-attendance, the individual is not permitted to officiate in any capacity in the STJFL until such time as the matter is heard.”
It has been reported that football officials are so fed up with abuse that the game’s governing body in Tasmania plans to ramp up sanctions against abusive players and spectators.
Tasmanian Football Federation president Kryon John- son said he would look to harden laws that govern the game so aggressive spectators can be banned or face a raft of other sanctions.
“There’s a lack of respect in society today — people being abused or assaulted going about their own business and people need to stand up and say no,” Johnson said.
“It doesn’t do the brand any good, it doesn’t do the game any good and it doesn’t do the clubs any good. We have enough problems getting umpires as it is and if there’s no umpires, there are no games. People need to realise that.”
Tasmanian Football Umpires’ Association president Geoff Flack said umps would walk away from the game because of constant abuse.
“Measures will be put in place to stop this abuse and if we have to name and shame people, we will,” Mr Flack said.
“We need to deal with this in the long term and get the message out that it’s not OK.
“I hope the umpires hang around long enough for this to happen, because there’s certainly the potential for them to walk away. Ultimately, it will be the players who will miss out, and the spectators will have to look for something else to do on a Saturday afternoon when there’s no football.”