TRL bans parent for 10 years over 'gross, violent' behaviour
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Toowoomba Rugby League has dished out one of the biggest bans in the 100-year history of the competition.
A spectator has been sensationally handed a 10-year ban following "gross behaviour" at a local football ground that resulted in police being called to the venue.
A league tribunal found the individual guilty of a range of offences, highlighted by striking a club president.
TRL chairman Brian Gilroy said the league had no choice but to hand down the heavy penalty, preventing the individual from attending fixtures for the next decade.
"One gentleman received a 10-year suspension from attending any games due to his behaviour," Gilroy said.
"He seemed to be affected by alcohol. He was abusing people and using racist and foul language.
"He was asked several times to move on and eventually it ended up in a scuffle between him and the president of one of our local clubs.
"In fact he was taken away in the end. The only way we could get him out was to be taken away by the police.
"He fronted our disciplinary committee and received the suspension.
"He is very disappointed that he won't be able to watch his children play, but sometimes the consequences come back to get you."
Gilroy said it was the biggest penalty handed down by the league during his tenure, however it was necessary due to the fact he resorted to violent action.
"We thought the behaviour was so gross and outside of the normal behaviours," he said.
"His behaviour made it unsafe (for others).
"Sometimes it is unpleasant when people use foul language, but you don't feel any danger. In this case, the fact that is descended to violence made it a much worse offence."
"We've had a few suspensions that were less than that. We've had a parent suspended for five years for attacking a coach, but in my time this is the biggest.
"There are other ones where there has been life bans around the state. I sat on an appeals board recently in central Queensland where a player was suspended for 10 years for abusing a referee pretty badly."
The ban isn't the only heavy-handed action the league has been forced to take in recent times, with spectators penalised for misconduct in the crowds and even on social media.
"Over the last month or so the TRL and the TJRL have taken some action against people misbehaving off the field," he said.
"We've had a few parents and spectators from the juniors fronting boards for Facebook comments and threatening behaviour at games.
"We're trying to clamp down on it. We're trying hard to make sure people behave themselves and there's consequences for some of the things they do when they come to our games."
Gilroy said the league had an emphasis on the 'Not In My House' campaign, developed by Toowoomba's Jodie Teys and implemented by Central Rugby League, which focused on stamping out behaviour that wouldn't be acceptable in a person's home.
"We don't want behaviour at our games that you wouldn't have at home or down the street," he said.
"I would encourage people to come to the footy and cheer for your team. Don't worry about the referee and don't worry about the opposition.
"Enjoy the footy and the athleticism and skills of the players, and leave the nonsense at home.
"I go to the football every weekend and I just want to go and watch the boys play. I don't like listening to foul language or abuse of the referees, it just ruins the day."