'Disgraceful': discrimination on football field leaves girl in tears

ORANGE Ex-Services Football Club has sent complaints to Football NSW following an alleged discriminatory incident in Sunday’s Bathurst District Football Association women’s A grade clash against Waratahs.

An Ex-Services official who witnessed the incident contacted the Central Western Daily on Monday, claiming one of the club’s players was verbally abused during the clash by two Waratahs officials over her throw-ins, to the point where she left the field mid-game in tears.

When an Ex-Services supporter intervened and swore at the offending party, he was allegedly threatened with physical violence.

The abuse is said to have revolved around the player’s slight physical disability, an ulna deficiency, which affects her throw-in technique by causing side spin on the ball. 

Significant side spin on the ball is deemed illegal in the game, but the Ex-Services official said the player has never had any issues with the legality of her technique in the past.

“It was disgraceful, absolutely horrible,” the Ex-Services official claimed.

“This sort of thing isn’t acceptable at any level of sport, whether it be local, state or national level. This has never happened before, even after the Waratahs [officials] were informed of her problem they continued to bully her.

“They should be stood down for the rest of the season. The club has put in a request to have our next game against Waratahs moved, the players don’t want to play at Waratahs Sportsground again. There has been complaints made to the [Bathurst District Football] association, Western NSW Football and Football NSW.”

Tony Mileto, president of the Ex-Services Football Club and the Orange and District Football Association, yesterday confirmed an incident had occurred.

“All I’ve heard about it remains hearsay at this stage,” Mileto said.

“There has been a report made by the referee. I haven’t seen it, but I imagine with the nature of the claims there will be a [disciplinary] hearing happening. 

“It is a Bathurst (District Football Association)-run competition and they will deal with it accordingly, and before I make any inquiries I need to hear both sides of the story. 

“Whether the allegation is found to be true or not, Ex-Services and the ODFA don’t condone this type of behaviour anywhere.”

Waratahs Football Club president Darren Sinclair said he was unaware of the finer details, but understood a complaint had been made.

“I wasn’t involved so I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I told the Ex-Services guys they should approach the Bathurst association with a report. Any inquiries towards Waratahs as a result from that will be answered straight away.

“I think that is the best way to handle it, to leave it in the association’s hands. They will deal with it accordingly.”

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