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Players banned, one charged with assault, after post-soccer match fight in Darwin’s top women’s league

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Five players in the Northern Territory’s top women’s soccer competition have been suspended  – and one charged with assault  – over a post-match fight that’s been called “unacceptable” and “in contrast to the values inherent in our game” by the sport’s governing body. 

NT Police has confirmed an 18-year-old player has been charged with assault in relation to the “physical altercation” involving several players on June 26, which broke out in the car park of the Darwin Football Stadium in Marrara after a game.

“A verbal dispute between two players escalated into a physical altercation when a third party intervened,” Acting Sergeant Carol Maxwell said in a statement. 

“The altercation was an escalation from the match.”

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There were no serious injuries. 

Yesterday, Football Northern Territory announced that it had sanctioned two clubs – the Hellenic Athletic Club and Port Darwin Football Club – in relation to the same incident.

In a statement, it said five players across both clubs had been banned from participating in any of the association’s activities for various periods of time. 

The Darwin Football Stadium in Marrara is the biggest outdoor stadium in the Northern Territory. (Supplied: Celina Whan / AFLNT)

Those players – which include three from Hellenic and two from Port Darwin – face suspensions ranging from 12 weeks (with four weeks suspended) to three years.

Hellenic has also been stripped of nine points in the 2022 Women’s Premier League competition, and will remain subject to a good behaviour bond that will, if breached, see the club lose three points for each offence.

Football Northern Territory chief executive, Bruce Stalder, said everyone involved in the game should be able to participate in a safe environment.

“This behaviour will never be tolerated, it is unacceptable, unnecessary and in stark contrast to the values inherent in our game,” he said.

Mr Stalder said as part of the sanctions, the suspended players would be enrolled in a community program designed to improve personal accountability and behavioural flexibility.

The woman charged with assault is due to face court on September 19.

The police investigation into the incident is ongoing. 

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