Kialla United is unlikely to participate in Goulburn North East Football Association this season due to disciplinary issues from last season.By Damen Francis
Kialla United is unlikely to participate in Goulburn North East Football Association this season due to disciplinary issues from last season.
The club was found guilty of ‘‘participation in a melee on the field’’ and ‘‘failing to control club associates’’ at a division two men’s match against Cobram Victory on September 12 last year.
Football Federation Victoria officials also fined Kialla United $750 for each charge.
Cobram Victory was charged and fined for the same offences.
Kialla United faced a third charge for ‘‘not completing a match after it has commenced’’ in relation to an under-15 boys’ match against Shepparton United on September 9.
The club was found guilty on all three counts and ordered to undertake a respect and responsibility course through FFV within 30 days for a third ‘‘serious’’ offence.
Kialla United faces a further tribunal hearing, where it is required to ‘‘show cause’’ as to why it should remain in the competition.
GNEFA secretary Luke Slater said the situation was unfortunate, but remained hopeful it would not spell the end for the multi-cultural club.
‘‘(Kialla United) have brought many positives to our league over the last few years and they probably represent the uniqueness of our community,’’ Slater said.
‘‘Their passion for the game is unquestionable, so it’s really disappointing they probably aren’t going to be involved this year.
‘‘We’re hoping to work with them, so they can continue their involvement in this competition in the years to come.’’
As part of its ‘‘show cause’’ position, Kialla United has been asked to come up with a financial plan to demonstrate its viability and commitment to ensuring such problems will not occur again.
But, even if Kialla United does meet FFV’s requirements, with less than a month until the start of the new season, it is unlikely it will be able to enter any teams in time.
Part of the reason the situation has taken so long to be resolved is due to the club not having a committee.
Former president Elisabeth Dunne left at the end of last season and, while Deo Musafiri took on the job this year, he has also since resigned.
‘‘We haven’t been able to contact the club, (because) they’ve been a bit absent over the past few months,’’ Slater said.
‘‘There are, obviously, really complex issues involved across the board .
In the meantime, Slater said Kialla United’s players would be able to register and play with other clubs.
‘‘The last thing the league wants is to lose those players from the competition, because those players are really passionate about the game and football is really important in their lives,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ll do everything we can to make sure those players are engaged in the game still.’’
Slater said the association’s highest division would remain under the Regional Premier League banner this year and would kick off on Sunday, April 14.
Full draws will be finalised for all GNEFA-run competitions in the coming weeks.
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