Response to Sport Integrity Australia statement
Sport Integrity Australia (SIA) issued a statement on 26 May 2022 in relation to Football Australia's (FA) Independent Complaints Handling Process. We note that:
FA is one of the national sporting organisations that has failed to implement the National Integrity Framework of SIA and, therefore, SIA is not authorised to process complaints regarding alleged breaches.
Because of this, it is disappointing that there is no scope for any alleged breaches within community football to be assessed independently. Rather, community football members are required to lodge complaints with the relevant state member association.
It is community football where we consider support is needed which is suggested by the data shared by SIA on the complaints it could not pursue.
A process to investigate a complaint that is not independent of FA or its state member associations, is not a best practice complaint process, and is a carbon copy of the inadequate complaint processes of FIFA.
We are also concerned that with only two cases within the scope of the SIA that there may be a level of apathy or fear about these issues at the elite level. Whichever it is – apathy or fear or both – it does not reflect well on the game if this is the case.
We urge FA to implement the National Integrity Framework of SIA rather than be an outlier sport in Australia that fails to be part of the Framework. Being a ‘big sport’ does not mean a sport is qualified to investigate itself when it comes to issues such as those covered by SIA.