The Minister for Sport gives his views on the embattled South Bunbury Football Club at the start of the tribunal

Western Australia’s sport minister has notified a regional football club, urging it to improve its culture after most of its women’s teams resigned over sexism and racism allegations.

South Bunbury Football Club withdrew its women’s team from the local league earlier this week after almost the entire squad left in response to the club’s handling of sexism complaints and a racial sled on the field.

The South West Football League (SWFL) is conducting a two-day tribunal with the club and players to better understand the turmoil.

Sports Secretary David Templeman said there was no place for racist or sexist behavior in community sports.

“There are some people who are very hurt by what has happened … there has to be a restoration of relations,” he said.

“We’ll definitely see how the club develops.

Three girls in sports jerseys come out of the changing rooms
South West Football League meets with club and women’s team to conduct review. (ABC Southwest: Sam Bold)

“I hope that the leadership of the football club will take a very close look at their own leadership and make sure they are doing everything they can to restore confidence in them and support the club more broadly.

“It has to be quick.”

Important to hear both sides

SWFL President Barry Tate asked two integrity officers from the WA Football Commission to attend the tribunal with the club.

Headshot of David Templeman, the local government minister, looking at a loss.
David Templeman wrote to South Bunbury Football Club urging them to improve the club’s culture. (ABC News: Eliza Laschon)

“We’re going to sit down and see how it’s been done by both sides and we’re going to be received [a report] by the Football Commission and then we’ll broadcast it afterwards,” Mr Tate said.

“There’s obviously a lot of speculation in the media about what happened.”

The tribunal will meet with the injured players tonight.

Mr Tate said the issue of the racist sled on the field had escalated from what should have been done.

“There was a breach of media policy when the player actually raised their concerns in the media,” Mr Tate said.

“We have to execute [the tribunal] and make sure we protect both parties.”

Culture change needed in the club

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