GNFL investigates after women’s match between Chapman Valley and Mullewa is called off following clashes

Reuben CarderMidwest Times
The game was called off after physical altercations.
Camera IconThe game was called off after physical altercations. Credit: Justine Rowe/SnapAction

The Great Northern Football League is investigating ugly scenes at a women’s footy game last Sunday that led to play being called off, with the umpire in charge saying he feared for his safety and that of the players.

The game at Mullewa Oval was marred by punches and rough play, according to officials from both clubs, with the match ultimately abandoned in the third quarter and the points awarded to Chapman Valley after Mullewa were reduced to 12 players following injuries and yellow cards.

Senior officials from both clubs, who would not be quoted, said they saw punches thrown and physical exchanges on both sides.

It is understood Mullewa players felt physical play, including a heavy tackle by an experienced Valley player on a newcomer, was unnecessary and led to bad feeling among their squad, many of whom are new to the game.

Valley, who are league leaders, for their part felt their opposition were playing unsportingly.

The GNFL said it was “continuing (its) investigation into the game”.

Umpire Paul Luxton, a veteran with eight years of experience, said crowd behaviour was “atrocious” and said he and his family were concerned for their safety.

Luxton advised both captains in the third quarter it would be in the clubs’ interests to call the game off, after Mullewa were left with not enough players.

He praised the decision by both sides to agree to abandon the game.

“A decision had to be made to ensure the safety of all the women,” Luxton said. Rules require a minimum of 14 players on each team for a match to go ahead.

It is understood Mullewa representatives plan to speak to the GNFL about the number of cards the side were issued. The game was recorded as a win to Chapman Valley, 15.5 (95) to 0.0 (0).

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