Sport

Canberra FC investigating alleged abuse of female referee's assistant

Canberra FC is investigating the alleged abuse of a female referee's assistant during the Capital Football premier league preliminary final and will push for heavy sanctions against any individuals found responsible.

It is also looking into a couple of minor incidents at the grand final the following week, including the setting off of a flare.

Canberra FC expects to present Capital Football with its findings on Friday.

One of Canberra's leading female referee's assistants was the victim of alleged vulgar abuse during FC's 3-0 victory over Cooma at McKellar Park.

FC narrowly lost the grand final to Belconnen United the following week, going down 3-2 on penalties after it finished 3-3 at the end of extra time.

A Canberra FC official said those responsible were not members of the club and as far as they could tell, were not members of other clubs either.

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The official said the club would discuss punishments with Capital Football, but would push for heavy penalties, possibly including bans from all future matches.

Investigations are continuing.

"They're not football fans, they're not from football families, they go to games on their own to cause trouble," the official said.

"We want to send a strong message from us that we don't need those people at the game.

"I'm so sorry for that poor girl, she's a good linesman, she's a good ref.

"If we find out who it was, we'll try and stop them from coming to our games and give their names to Capital Football.

"They're not Canberra FC players and not soccer players, they're just trouble makers who come once a year to the grand final.

"We need support and to get together – clubs, Capital Football and the government.

"We want peace, we want families coming [to our games]."

The Deakin club has been the benchmark of Canberra soccer for many years and it feels its name has been tarnished by these incidents.

The Canberra FC official said alcohol was usually involved and suggested an earlier start for finals, as well as switching them to a Sunday, might help wipe out such incidents.

Hiring more paid security was another option that needed to be looked into.

"It's the alcohol talking. I think in the future games shouldn't be late Saturday afternoon, they should be played Sunday 2pm," the official said.

"We need more security, we've got more officials [this year], but security have the authority to grab someone and throw them out."

Capital Football chief executive Heather Reid said it was awaiting the findings of Canberra FC before taking any action.

"We're leaving them to make some investigations about [the abuse of the referee's assistant] as well some incidents that occurred last week at the grand final," Reid said.

"We will let them do their investigation and then we'll work together on appropriate action against whoever may have been involved in a range of incidents."

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