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Sport Brawl ends girls' footy game after players start 'slapping each other'

06:05  04 june  2018
06:05  04 june  2018 Source:   theage.com.au

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A Sherrin football sits on grass.© Getty Images A Sherrin football sits on grass. Umpires were forced to call off a girls' football match in Melbourne's inner north after the game descended into an all-in melee which saw players "slapping each other".

The "brutal" fight, involving "a whole heap" of players, took place in the last quarter of the under-18s Essendon Doutta Stars and Tullamarine match at Buckley Park in Essendon on Sunday.

Tullamarine Football Club president Peter Labbad confirmed on Monday morning that the incident had occurred.

He told radio station 3AW he believed the fight broke out when one girl, who was being “tormented," pushed another player.

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“There was some push and shove with the girls, it was pretty brutal,” Mr Labbad said.

“It [was actually] more brutal than some of our senior men’s games."

Umpires were forced to call off a junior girls football match in Melbourne's inner-north after it descended into violence.© Fairfax Media Umpires were forced to call off a junior girls football match in Melbourne's inner-north after it descended into violence. Mr Labbad said language from both sides was “really poor” and he commended the umpires for calling off the game, saying there was nothing to be gained by letting them continue.

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Canyon Springs beats Basic 20-15 and the game ends in a brawl involving players and coaches. Clark County School District Police intervened with pepper spray once players started punching and swinging helmets at each other .

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He also said parents were not involved in the brawl, despite another witness saying he saw spectators run onto the ground and joining the brawl.

“[It was] nothing to do with parents, just a whole heap of girls in," he said.

Mr Labbad said umpires were forced to call off the match because they did not know how to deal with the girls “slapping each other” in the fight which lasted about two minutes.

“You’re talking about girls slapping each other, what are you meant to do?” Mr Labbad said.

“The umpires I think didn’t know what to do at that stage so they called the game off.

“There’s a whole range of different things with girls than there are with men.”

Mr Labbad said that when the brawl erupted the score was 20 goals to zero in favour of the Doutta Stars, "so there was nothing to achieve in the game".

When contacted by The Age, both clubs declined to comment on the brawl and referred all questions to the Essendon District Football League.

In a statement, the league said it was gathering information on the incident to determine if a formal investigation was required.

An EDFL spokesman confirmed it was the first time umpires had been forced to call off a suburban girls' football game in the north-west league.

He added it was unclear if there would be any disciplinary action taken after the brawl.

If an investigation was launched into the incident, any disciplinary action would be determined by an independent league tribunal and investigations panel, he said.

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