Football club in more hot water after police called to game

The brawl between Balga and Warwick Greenwood football clubs back in June.
The brawl between Balga and Warwick Greenwood football clubs back in June.

AN amateur football club, which is under fire over a violent brawl, is in hot water again after police were reportedly called to their game following booze complaints.

Community News understands police were called to the Metro Football League (MFL) reserves match between Balga and Brighton football clubs on Sunday because Balga supporters had brought alcohol to Kingsbridge Reserve in Butler, which contravenes Brighton’s liquor licence.

There were also several incidents in the first quarter, where umpires issued red and yellow cards to players from both teams.

A melee then broke out just after half time, forcing police to have the game called off.

It is also understood police officers were forced to intervene to prevent spectators from getting involved.

A police spokeswoman on Monday confirmed officers attended the game “as a normal part of their patrol duties”.

She said “the issues occurred on-field between players” and the “team managers and coaches managed to calm the situation”.

She also later said there were “no reports of any incidents of players drinking alcohol on the bench”.

Balga president Gary Forrester said on Tuesday one of his club’s spectators was drinking a beer but when police asked him to tip it out, he did.

He said he believed bringing alcohol to the ground was not contravening Brighton’s liquor licence because the club was not selling its own alcohol.

“And if it did contravene it, they did not have a liquor area set up for drinking,” he said.

Mr Forrester said the melee was sparked after a Balga player tackled a Brighton player in front of Balga’s bench causing him to be penalised for holding the ball and a free kick awarded to Balga.

He said the Brighton player “did not like the decision” and “started swinging at our players”.

He said players from the Brighton bench and spectators then entered the field and the melee ensued.

“If the police were not in attendance I believe the game would have been played until the end,” he said.

Mr Forrester said after the game was called off, the club “left the ground immediately”.

“The police said to get our stuff and leave. We didn’t fight it or argue, we just went to the changerooms and got our stuff and left straight away,” he said.

“We are a family-friendly club who treats all of our players as family, not just a players.”

WA Football Commission spokesman Steve Tuohey confirmed the game was called off in the third quarter and said they were “looking into it”.

“We are assisting the MFL to work out what occurred and determine the course of action,” he said.

Brighton Football Club president Callum Edwards said the club was unable to comment while investigations were proceeding.

The incident follows a brawl on June 9 between Balga’s league team and Warwick Greenwood Football Club where two people were taken to hospital.

This led to one Balga player being issued an 18-match ban for striking and kicking leading him to be deregistered, another receiving a 12-match ban for striking, another receiving a six-match ban for head-butting and threatening behaviour, and two-match bans for another three players for threatening behaviour.

The club was later also slammed for playing a deregistered player in that match, as well as all previous games this season.

Warwick Greenwood was due to play Balga again yesterday but following the incidents during their previous match-up, the fixture was changed so Balga came up against Brighton.

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