3 min read

Football Australia And Sport Integrity Australia Launch Independent Framework


Sport Integrity Australia and Football Australia have launched an independent complaints and reports handling, investigation, and disciplinary framework in response to allegations of misconduct in women’s football.

The framework comes after allegations from a former player of grooming, indecent assault, bullying and sexual harassment sparked an independent investigation from Sport Integrity Australia.

The results of the investigation are set to be released in detail in the coming days, however this introduction of the framework will see Sport Integrity Australia consider any complaints of misconduct at the elite levels of Australian football.

As part of this, Sport Integrity Australia will independently receive, assess and manage complains and reports relating to Football Australia’s national teams and A-Leagues, according to a Football Australia statement.

The reporting window for this framework is from 1 November 2021 through to 31 January 2022, with the National Sports Tribunal to hear any disputes from the sanction and resolution process.

Sport Integrity Australia CEO, David Sharpe, said it was important the process remains completely independent of Football Australia.

“Our priority is for sport to be a safe, supportive environment for all participants,” Sharpe said.

“This process gives people an opportunity to speak up about their experiences and be heard.

“Importantly, through this process we can address issues being raised to ensure that together with sports, we build safer environments in future.

“There has been a lot of public commentary about this matter.

“The media play a vital role in highlighting these issues so they can be addressed, but Sport Integrity Australia’s formal independent process to deal with these allegations must remain confidential to protect all parties involved…

“I also appreciate that people will want outcomes immediately, however these things take time and must be done properly.

“The timeframes will depend on the number of complaints we receive, the complexity of the issues reported and the availability of people to participate to ensure procedural fairness,” he said.

Football Australia CEO, James Johnson, said: “Organised Australian football has existed for over 100 years, and this is the first time our game has done this.”

“It’s a step which takes us into the future of sports governance, by establishing a new framework which exemplifies the way issues like abuse, bullying and harassment can and should be managed across all sporting codes.

“It was really important that we confronted the issue and took decisive action to put in place an entirely separate and independent process, given that the issues we’re talking about are inherently complex and deeply personal…

“By effectively mandating a system that provides for clear separation and independence, the new framework draws a line in the sand for football and creates a blueprint for all sporting codes in the way matters of this kind should be managed,” Johnson said.

It's free to join the team!

Join the most engaged community in the Sports Business World.

Get all the latest news, insights, data, education and event updates.