AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) is aware of an incident that took place between the coach of Southern Districts Football Club (SDFC) Men’s Premier League side, Shannon Rusca, and members of the independent Tribunal and AFLNT staff following Thursday night’s Tribunal hearing in the matter of SDFC player, Keegan Dingo.
As such, AFLNT has deemed the behaviour of Rusca at the conclusion of the hearing was in breach of the AFLNT Rules and Regulations which govern all clubs and officials.
Today, AFLNT wrote to Rusca and SDFC and issued the following penalty:
a) A suspension from coaching and any other official position within SDFC for a period of two (2) weeks. This suspension has been wholly suspended until the end of the 2017-18 TIO NTFL season.
Should Rusca re-offend, the two weeks suspended penalty will be applied in addition to any further penalty.
b) The SDFC are to be fined a total of $2,000.
This fine must be paid in full before SDFC will be permitted to participate in the 2017-18 TIO NTFL Men’s Premier League competition.
AFLNT did not have to issue either Rusca or SDFC with a show cause notice as Rusca made steps to get in touch with the League, and made the below apology:
“I would like to take this opportunity to apologise without reservation to the staff, volunteers, and executive of AFLNT for my outburst last night during the tribunal hearings relating to the deregistration of SDFC players.
“Despite the emotionally charged environment and the ongoing stresses of the day including media pressures, it does not provide license for me to conduct myself in such a way as to escalate the issue further.”
Both Rusca and SDFC have accepted the above penalties, and AFLNT now considers the matter closed.