THE Victorian Women’s Football League will take “no further action” over the North Ballarat Eagles’ walk-off against the Bendigo Thunder in their North West Division women’s football match last month in Bendigo.
The VWFL’s investigation into the matter has cleared Bendigo of any wrong-doing but the report conceded that, where possible, VWFL games should have two umpires rather than one. The Eagles left the field in the final three minutes of the match following an incident in which a downfield free kick was paid against Bendigo.
North Ballarat coach John Marshall cited concerns about player safety as the reason for his decision to direct his players to leave the field, thereby forfeiting the match.
The VWFL investigation found:
• the game was a hard physical contest of senior football.
• the result for the game stands with Bendigo being awarded the win.
• there were no reports from the game and nor is there any suggestion of any reportable incidents.
• the game was umpired by one experienced umpire. The VWFL prefers to have two umpires at all games but currently has a shortage of umpires in Bendigo and Ballarat.
• the VWFL had discussed the matter at length with the North Ballarat coach John Marshall who expressed concerns under his duty of care as a coach. John also expressed concerns at having one umpire for the game.
• and, that no further action will be taken in relation to this matter.
It also invited anyone interested in umpiring women’s football to contact the competition’s umpire co-ordinator Adrian Fisher.
Marshall yesterday said the Eagles were looking to move on from the matter. “If the result of the investigation is that there are two umpires at all future games we would be satisfied with that outcome,” he said.
North Ballarat Eagles will play at home to North Geelong this Sunday on Northern Oval number two.
The return clash with Bendigo Thunder is on July 22 at Learmonth.