Unfortunately 2019 has seen a sharp increase in the amount of serious incidents in football and AFF and NFF are taking a hardline approach to removing people who continue behave in a way that contravenes the spirit of our game.
Ellerslie has a clean record and good reputation when it comes to these things, however this can change quickly so all members (myself included) need to remember that we are all ambassadors of the club and our actions will reflect on the clubs reputation and once you have a bad one it's very hard to shake - we encourage all members and parents to read the below letter from AFF and NFF and if you have any concerns report them to an Ellerslie AFC Committee Member.
Wednesday 26th June 2019
To: All AFF & NFF Clubs
RE: SERIOUS INCIDENTS
Further to our circular of 23rd May 2019, a number of high-profile incidents have occurred which have attracted significant media coverage. The large percentage of our player base enjoy their football, play hard but play fair and enjoy their experience in the Beautiful Game in our region without incident. Yet it appears that a small minority are failing to clearly receive the message that this anti-social and inexcusable behavior will not be tolerated and the Federations will remove teams and individuals from the game.
The Board and Management of the Federations position on Serious Incidents is that there are no circumstances which justify the anti-social behavior of a small minority of players, coaches and spectators. Such anti-social behavior would not be tolerated in a school environment, a work environment or on the streets, nor is it tolerated in a football environment. The Federations have a zero-tolerance stance against physical or verbal abuse of any kind. The Federations will continue to send a clear message that there are consequences for such anti-social and unacceptable behaviours. The position is clear those who cannot behave in a civilized and respectful manner are not welcome in the game and will be removed from the game.
The Federations are continuing to increase our monitoring of and interventions where Serious Incidents occur. The following NZF Official Codes for Incidents relating to matches involving the issuing of a Red (send-off) card, are automatically defined by as Serious Incidents:
Send Off Codes (Red Card)
R4 Biting or Spitting at someone
R7 Offensive, insulting, abusive language
R8 Offensive, insulting, abusive gestures
R11 Violent Conduct
R13 Offensive, insulting, abusive language and/or gestures against a match official
R14 Violent Conduct – Assault of a Match Official
R15 Send-off not previously specified
Other Incidents received via a report from any source and/or Send Off Codes (Red Card) can be considered as Serious Incidents at the discretion of Federation Management and/or Boards.
In addition to the Competition Disciplinary process which addresses each incident; the Federations are now operating a three stage escalation to address Serious Incidents directly with Clubs:
Withdrawal from Competition
Note: Federations do not have to issue a First Warning and depending on the nature of the incident a Final Warning may be issued immediately and as a first step.
In 2019 the following have been issued to date:
First Warning Letter Issued – 3 Clubs
Final Warning Letter Issued – 3 Teams
Withdrawal from Competition – 1 Team
A further three (3) First Warnings are due to be issued by Friday 28th June 2019.
Both AFF & NFF have added a Misconducts tab to the Competitions section of our websites and a weekly update of active suspensions will be posted here.
All Clubs need to send a clear an unequivocal message to all their players, coaches and spectators regarding expected behaviour standards. Clubs are to ensure they have a zero-tolerance, no excuses approach and the policies and processes in place to manage any such Serious Incidents. If clubs would like assistance from AFF or NFF regarding education opportunities for their members, please don’t hesitate to ask your relevant Federation contact.
Working together we must ensure the physical, mental and emotional safety of all who are involved in our game if football is to retain the position it has earned – that of the most popular participation sport in New Zealand.
Chief Executive Officer
Auckland Football Federation
Chief Executive Officer
Northern Football Federation