AFL Northern Territory (AFLNT) advises the Southern Districts Football Club has been issued with a breach notice in relation to playing too many players in its Round 1 TIO NTFL Women's Premier League game between Southern Districts and the Waratah Football Club at TIO Stadium on Saturday 5 October.
As part of a breach issued to Southern Districts for playing too many players in Round 2 against the Wanderers Football Cub; AFLNT investigated all TIO NTFL Women's Premier League games across the season and up to the conclusion of Round 4.
Upon completion of the investigation, AFLNT discovered that Southern Districts played 24 players in Round 1; with 16 on the field and eight players on the bench.
Due to the time that has elapsed since the incident, AFLNT sought legal advice on the best course of action in relation to the AFLNT Rules and Regulations (2019-20 edition), which govern the NTFL competition.
AFLNT subsequently wrote to Southern Districts with notice of the breach and to allow the club a right of reply.
Though seeking dispensation, the reply from Southern Districts confirmed it had played two extra players in Round 1, and that it had admitted its mistake to Waratah in a show of good sportsmanship.
As such, AFLNT deemed two extra players gave Southern Districts a distinct playing advantage in the match, and it would be unjust for AFLNT not to impose the applicable sanction.
Under AFLNT Rules and Regulations (2019 - 2020 edition):
3.9 Competition - Playing Numbers
3.9.1. Teams competing in any Competition shall have no more than the following maximum number of Players per team:
(c) Senior Women (including Premier League): 22 (16 on field + 6 interchange)
3.9.2 If a team submits a team sheet that does not accurately represent the team that took the field during that match, that team will be deemed to have forfeited that match.
3.9.3 If a team commences a match, or at any time during a match, has more than the prescribed number of Players on the interchange bench, that team will be deemed to have forfeited the match.
Based on the above, Southern Districts were today notified that the game in question would be amended to indicate a forfeit by Southern Districts; the result will be updated to show a Waratah 60 - 0 win, as per usual forfeit guidelines.
In accordance with AFLNT Rules and Regulations, Southern Districts has the right to appeal as per the appeals process outlined under section 9.1. AFLNT must receive a notice for appeal by 5pm tomorrow (Tuesday).
AFLNT, through the NTFL Laws Committee, will continue to review processes and procedures relating to all aspects of the competition and will seek feedback from clubs and umpires.