VAFA Media Statement Kew v Bulleen

21 August 2015

Re: VAFA investigation into Abandonment of the Kew v Bulleen Templestowe match

The Victorian Amateur Football Association has been built on a variety of core values, none more important than the integrity and respect of its members. It is a culture established to allow its members to partake in Australia’s greatest sport in its purest form, for the love of the game.

Regrettably, the integrity and respect of the VAFA has been brought into question in recent days, following events occurring between two of its member clubs over the weekend.

It is because of these values, and the need to uphold them, a VAFA investigation panel found Kew FC and Bulleen Templestowe AFC guilty of conduct unbecoming of a member of the Association and conduct prejudicial to the interests of the Association at a hearing in Elsternwick on Tuesday night.

Conducting an enquiry into the behaviour of players, officials and spectators in regards to events which took place on Saturday at the Round 16 match in Kew, the investigation panel fined both clubs a combined $7000 for the abovementioned policy violations. Most significantly, the violations involved ugly verbal and physical altercations between spectators and officials both on and off the ground. These altercations, combined with a player melee, for which each club has been fined a further $300, led to the match being abandoned late in the fourth quarter.

Throughout a three and a half hour hearing, the investigation panel heard evidence from a number of senior officials from both clubs, as well as the six officiating umpires. Photographic evidence was also presented to assist the investigation panel’s understanding of events and their causes behind them.

Kew FC and Bulleen Templestowe accepted full responsibility for the events which took place and recognise their responsibility as members of the VAFA. They have both acknowledged their need to play a role in repairing the damage caused to the entire competition, and expressed a willingness to work with the VAFA and member clubs to do so.

Police are conducting their own investigations into the on-ground player on player incidents that precipitated the melee and seriously errant crowd behaviour; therefore, the VAFA Tribunal will hear these cases at a later date.

In the wake of the fines imposed upon both clubs, the $7000 will be donated to anti-violence organisation, Step Back Think. Established in 2006 after the assault of VAFA player James Macready-Bryan, Step Back Think aims to educate people on the consequences of split-second violent decisions and drive cultural change to end social violence.

Anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated in the VAFA including spectator abuse of individual players and umpires. We expect all members of the Association to uphold our values at all times and to conduct themselves with the integrity and respect our competition has built its reputation on. Failure to do so will result in strong penalties.

For those who wish to become more familiar with all VAFA code of conduct policies, they can be found under the Club Admin tab on vafa.com.au.

VAFA