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Entire footy league suspended indefinitely due to on-field violence - and it's the second time the competition has been cancelled over bad behaviour

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 9/07/2018 Kylie Stevens

a group of people standing next to a dog: South Australia's Far North West Sports League has been suspended until further notice

South Australia's Far North West Sports League has been suspended until further notice
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited
On-field violence has forced the suspension of the Far North West Sports League in a remote Aboriginal community until further notice - for the second time in 12 months.

An emergency meeting will be held in Adelaide this week after Australian Rules and softball games were suspended in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY Land) in South Australia's northwest.

SA Police, the SANFL and the federal government, which funds the competition, made the joint decision due to repeated incidents of on-field violence. It led to two recent football games being abandoned.

The league was suspended for four weeks last year, also due to on-field violence, The Adelaide Advertiser reported. 

Far North West Sports League recently posted a plea on its Facebook page after observing some minor issues during a game.

'Please remember, it's a family friendly environment and we are here to support our teams and enjoy good sportsmanship. We don't want games cancelled so please spread the word,' a June 24 post states. 

SANFL community football manager Matthew Duldig described its tough stance as disappointing but appropriate to send a message that violence is not condoned.

'We will work really closely with the communities to develop a plan and make sure there is no violence and sport is played as it should be in a really safe environment for everyone,' he told The Advertiser.

'If that doesn't happen, sport won't happen being run by us, and that's a shame because it's such a big part of the community.'

The competition, which covers 200,000 square kilometres, expanded to 10 teams this year with the introduction of a Northern Territory-based Uluru team.

a group of people standing on top of a mountain: A meeting will be held this week to decide the future of the Far North West Sports League. Pictured is a game in action in Uluru

A meeting will be held this week to decide the future of the Far North West Sports League. Pictured is a game in action in Uluru
© Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

Daily Mail Australia has contacted the SANFL for comment.

Despite the suspension of the league, players from the APY Lands and the Far West will travel to Adelaide this week as a reward for their on and off-field behaviour.

They will play for the Lands Cup as a curtain-raiser to the Adelaide versus Geelong AFL clash at Adelaide Oval on Thursday night.

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