Independent complaint handling process confirmed for Football Australia

  • Media Statement

Football Australia, Sport Integrity Australia and the National Sports Tribunal have today confirmed they will develop an independent complaint handling process to manage reports raised in relation to Football Australia’s national teams and the A-Leagues.

Under the agreement, current and former footballers and staff will be able to submit complaints regarding any abuse, harassment, discrimination, sexual misconduct, or bullying directly to Sport Integrity Australia.

Sport Integrity Australia will receive, assess and manage all complaints, ensuring all concerns are heard and assessed independent of Football Australia. The National Sports Tribunal will have jurisdiction to hear any disputes that fall within the scope of the complaints process. Full details about the process, including the relevant scope and timeframe are now being finalised and will be available in the coming weeks.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson said his organisation treated matters of abuse seriously and had a “zero tolerance” approach.

“The wellbeing of our diverse community is our priority, and we are committed to safe, inclusive environments for all footballers and staff. There is no place for abuse, harassment or bullying in our sport and it is incumbent on organisations like ours to take the lead when it comes to dealing with these issues head-on.”

“With this in mind, we approached Sport Integrity Australia recently and we’re pleased with this timely announcement that the proposed process will enable anyone with concerns to come forward, with the confidence that their concerns will be heard and assessed independently,” Johnson said.

Sport Integrity Australia CEO David Sharpe said it is important for complaints to be handled outside an individual sport.

“I welcome the proactive approach from FA to address these issues independently. Having an independent body to hear complaints is critical to giving athletes and staff confidence that their concerns will be heard openly and that they will be treated fairly. Nothing can be swept under the carpet.”

John Boultbee, CEO of the National Sports Tribunal, also outlined the process further.

“The involvement of the independent National Sports Tribunal as the ultimate appeal body, ensures those concerned are provided the most independent and thorough processes from the time of the complaint through to its ultimate resolution,” Boutlbee said.

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