NTFA blasted in brawl fallout

OLD Launcestonians division 2 coach Brian Finch has questioned the NTFA's handling of last week's brawl between Old Scotch and Fingal Valley.

Finch said rumours circulating in football circles yesterday that OLs would refuse to travel to Fingal to play today were untrue.

But the former Launceston State League premiership player was unhappy with the lack of communication from the NTFA to member clubs about how it was responding to the brawl that broke out just before half-time last week causing the game to be abandoned.

The NTFA has appointed an independent investigating officer to look into the incident and report back with a recommended course of action.

But Finch believes the NTFA should have expedited the investigation and reached an outcome before this weekend's round of matches were played.

"After talks with both coach and president of the Fingal Valley Football Club, we are happy to travel and play at Fingal, and feel confident that we will have a normal game of footy," Finch said.

"But the fact that there has been no communication about what happened last weekend and no outcome has caused uncertainty and tension with the other clubs."

Finch said he believed it was unprecedented that the two teams involved in an all-in brawl that caused a game to be called off would be able to play the following week without any punishment having been meted out.

"The whole thing has festered and dragged on because nothing has been said by either club or the NTFA.

"That's why other clubs are being brought into it because we don't know what happened but we are hearing these horrific stories and we don't want to put our players in a position where we might end up in an all-in brawl.

"We understand that things happen on the footy field but not to the severity of what happened where everyone loses control of a situation and where spectators are involved and the umpires having to end the game.

"We are at a loss how two teams have done this on the weekend and on the following week are going about business like nothing happened.

"That's where the NTFA needed to take a stand and say `This is not on and this is our action if you do that'.

"At this stage I feel that other clubs, including us , are unaware of the ramifications of all-in brawls.

" Clubs should be going into this week's game fully aware of the consequences on both player and club of such actions on the field."

NTFA general manager Robert Anderson declined to comment.

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