Socceroos turn out for Werribee
(Published on the Goal Weekly website, 19 August 2011. www.goalweekly.com)
Last week I wrote about bending the rules in sport in general terms, but it did not take long for a local example to surface.
On Saturday in Division Two North West of the Victorian State League, three former Socceroos are due to turn out for Werribee City against Brunswick City.
Craig Moore, Danny Tiatto and Joe Spiteri are the players involved.
Spiteri and Tiatto have been signed for the club for some time, but Moore is arriving this weekend for a guest appearance.
All leagues below State League Division One are strictly amateur competitions, with the players only allowed to be compensated for their expenses at a level agreed with the Australian Tax Office.
This is a promotion battle between clubs in positions one and three on the ladder.
Three points cover the top five spots on the table including Ballarat Red Devils, who just happen to have a home game against Geelong at Trekardo Park at the same time.
Geelong is fighting to avoid relegation and is in last place in the league at the moment.
Football Federation Victoria has been kept aware of the plan and has no official objection.
Chief Executive Officer Mark Rendell said, ‘We are pleased that they are promoting the sport and they have fulfilled our requirements and until we learn otherwise, we think it is a positive move.’
While one can easily accept that the promotion of the game is a very worthy motive, the integrity of the competition is something which should be paramount.
FFV is in a difficult position because getting someone to come out and admit publicly that underhand payment of players is taking place is not easy.
However, the CEO laughed when I said there is a good old Scottish story that finding a trout in the milk is circumstantial evidence.