Sport Integrity Australia has referred three complaints to police as part of an investigation into misconduct in soccer.
Sport Integrity Australia has referred three complaints to police and is continuing to investigate two others as part of its probe into off-field misconduct at the national level of football.
Between November 2021 and the end of January, Sport Integrity Australia called for those connected to elite football – including with the Australian national teams, A-League Men, A-League Women and A-League Youth – to submit accounts of abuse, bullying, child abuse, child grooming, endangerment of the safety of a child, harassment, sexual misconduct, unlawful discrimination, victimisation and vilification witnessed in the sport.
On Thursday, Sport Integrity Australia released its preliminary findings, revealing it had received 27 submissions.
Nine submissions were from those who had been directly impacted, while 18 were from witnesses.
Sport Integrity Australia deemed 25 of the 27 submissions to be “out-of-scope”, meaning they either did not occur at the national level, were submitted anonymously or did not relate to prohibited conduct under the Independent Complaints Handling Process (ICHP).
However, three of those 25 have been referred to police as Sport Integrity Australia determined they could “warrant criminal investigation”.
Sport Integrity Australia is continuing to investigate the remaining two submissions which did not fall outside of its scope.
The investigations may culminate in sanctions, which if challenged, could be presented before the National Sports Tribunal.
“Although we received a number of submissions which were out of scope, Sport Integrity Australia evaluated each submission and assisted those lodging complaints to connect them to alternate options or contact the relevant body where possible, who could manage the complaint,” said Sport Integrity Australia CEO David Sharpe.
Football Australia said it continued to “fully support (Sport Integrity Australia’s) ongoing independent and confidential process”.
“Football Australia remains committed to the process and Policy it proactively initiated in October 2021,” a statement read.
“While the ICHP and subsequent investigations are ongoing, Football Australia is unable to provide any further comment on the process or related matters at this time.”