Football SA and Football NSW are both currently involved in stoushes over their respective handling of racism incidents at grassroots football matches.
Football SA has been slammed by an angry mother of a 16-year-old boy who was suspended by the member federation after he responded to racist taunting by an opposition player.
Nalika Subasinghe says her 16-year-old son was racistly taunted by an opponent during the match and taunted while on the bench. According to The Advertiser, Subasinghe’s son responded by calling the offending player a “f****** racist”.
The opponent received a 12-week ban for the taunts, but Subasinghe’s son also received a two-match ban for retaliation, leading to the criticism.
“Somebody who played soccer possibly 20 to 30 years ago cannot relate to a young Asian boy and tell him how to react to racial abuse,” she told 7 News.
“Why don’t you have somebody who can handle or relate to teenagers of many cultural backgrounds?”
Football SA in turn defended the organisation's diversity and said there was a proper process in place for reporting racist incidents to match officials that should have been followed by the boy.
“It includes, but is not limited to, lawyers, police officers, former match officials and ex-club officials from a variety of backgrounds, male and female and of varying ages,” a Football SA spokesperson said.
“This would avoid any retaliatory behaviour and possible sanctions,” a spokesperson said.
“At no stage, as has been reported, did anyone within the hearing imply that a person should remain silent regarding any instance of vilification.”
This is the second time a member federation has faced criticism over their handling of a racist incident in the past three months, with Football NSW currently being sued by a 22-year-old footballer for its handling of an assault.
Angus Chance alleges in court claims that Football NSW placed a speaking ban between him and his teammates after his jaw was broken by a player at his own club, after he attempted to defend Japanese players against racist taunts.
Chance's claim alleges that in the months following the incident a representative from the club acting “at the request or direction” of Football NSW “sent a message to the members of the Dulwich Hill FC first grade team requiring those players not to have any contact” with Chance or his father. Football NSW then allegedly refused to lift the ban for four months.
Football NSW said in a statement: “This matter is subject to court proceedings and we cannot comment at this stage.”