7. DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE
(a) Subject to section 7.1(b), the Disciplinary Committee has jurisdiction to:
- issue Suspensions in respect of Red Card offences (section 7.2);
- determine any challenge relating to mistaken identity pursuant to section 7.3
- issue penalties for Team Misconduct pursuant to section 16.5 (b) i and 16.5 (b) ii
(b) The DC shall only have jurisdiction to issue a suspension that is less than one (1) calendar year. A suspension that is one (1) calendar year or longer may only be issued by a Tribunal. The DC shall refer a matter to the GPT if it determines that the matter warrants consideration of a suspension of one (1) calendar year or greater.
(a) The General Manager shall, within three (3) working days of any match, refer any Match Official report to the DC for consideration and the issue of any Suspension unless the General Manager determines that the matter requires the investigative resources of a Tribunal in which case the General Manager shall refer the Match Official reports to the GPT.
(b) The DC must issue Suspensions based on Match Official Reports and apply the Table of Offences.
(c) The DC must take into consideration a Participant's disciplinary history when determining a Suspension.
(d) The DC must set out any Suspension in a Notice of Suspension which shall be issued by the General Manager to a Participant's Club as soon as is practicable, namely within one (1) day of receipt from the DC and no more than six (6) days of the relevant Match if that is practically possible.
(e) In any Notice of Suspension, the DC may determine, in its absolute discretion, the type of Football Activity to which the Suspension relates.
(f) Notwithstanding this section 7.2, the DC may, in its absolute discretion, refer any matter to the GPT pursuant to section 8.4 if it considers the matter requires consideration by a Tribunal.
(g) Where the DC issues a suspension that is greater than the minimum stipulated for the offence in schedule 3, a participant, via his or her club, may challenge that sentence and such a challenge shall be referred to a GPT for determination. A participant is not eligible to challenge a suspension where the DC has issued the minimum suspension, unless the participant seeks, by credible evidence, to challenge the presumption specified in section 6.2(d).
(h) Subject to any legal requirements, any suspension issued by the Disciplinary Committee may be published via the GHFA's website and/or other GHFA operated media including any newsletter and/or any equivalent publishing media operated by FNSW. Such publication may identify a Club and/or a team, but shall not identify individual persons by name
7.3 Challenging a decision on the basis of Mistaken Identity in a Match Official Send-Off or Incident Report
(a) At the end of a match, the relevant Team Official must sign the team sheet confirming that all details on the team sheet, including the attribution of Yellow Cards and Red Cards are correct.
(b) If the Team Official believes that a participant has been mistakenly identified on the team sheet by a Match Official as having been shown a Yellow Card of Red Card, the Team Official must indicate this by endorsing the back of the team sheet.
(c) Where the requirements set out in section 7.3 (b) were not complied with, a member wishing to challenge any disciplinary consequences arising from the attribution of a Yellow Card or Red Card from the team sheet must show reasonable cause as to why such challenge should be permitted.
(d) Provided the requirements of section 7.3 (b) or 7.3 (c) are met, if a participant claims that he or she was mistakenly identified in a Match Official Send-off Report, the Participant's Club on the Participant's behalf must notify the DC by submitting a notification letter by e-mail for Mistaken Identity in a Match Official Send-Off Report to the relevant address shown in schedule 2 within three (3) days of the completion of the match.
(e) If GHFA does not receive notification by the time specified in section 7.3(a), the Participant is deemed to have been responsible for the Offence and will, subject to the DC's consideration of the incident, be issued with a Notice of Suspension.
(f) The DC may, at its discretion, alter or rescind any Suspension issued, subject to evidence submitted at a later date.
(g) The Participants Club must submit evidence upon which the claim of mistaken identity is founded. The details of the submission must include:
- a signed written statement by the Participant that he or she was not responsible for the Offence and identifying to the best of their knowledge the name of the Participant responsible
- any other evidence which may support the claim for mistaken identity.
(h) If GHFA does not receive properly completed written statements within three (3) days of the Match, the Participant may, subject to the DC's consideration of the incident, be issued with a Notice of Suspension.
(i) After considering the evidence, the DC will decide whether the claim for mistaken identity should be rejected or upheld.
(j) If the DC rejects a claim for mistaken identity, it will consider the matter on the basis of the Match Official Report provided.
(k) If the DC considers that a rejected claim for mistaken identity had no prospect of success and amounted to an abuse of process, it shall refer the matter to the Competition Director, who may charge the Participant and/or the Club with Misconduct pursuant to section 8.2.
(l) If the DC upholds the mistaken identity claim, a Notice of Suspension shall be issued to the appropriate identified Participant, who shall serve the Suspension immediately.
(m) The decision made by the DC will be conveyed to the Participant and/or the Club via email at the earliest practical opportunity.
7.4 Challenging a Notice of Suspension - Exceptional Circumstances
(a) This section 7.4 is intended to apply only in exceptional circumstances. It is envisaged that, in the vast majority of matters, any Suspension set out in a Notice of Suspension will be appropriate and will be applied. The provisions set out in this Section are not intended to encourage or lead to the systematic or regular review of standard Suspensions and are reserved for exceptional cases.
(b) A Participant's Club on the Participant's behalf may, in the very limited circumstances set out in sub-sections (c) and (i) below, seek to limit the disciplinary consequences of a Suspension by demonstrating to the DC that the circumstances of a particular Suspension were exceptional, such that the Suspension which has been notified would be clearly and demonstrably excessive.
(c) Exceptional circumstances means circumstances operating at the time of the Offence and relating to the commission of the Offence and not the impact which a sanction may have. The following do not constitute exceptional circumstances:
- the significance or importance to the Participant or his or her Club of the Match in which the Offence was committed;
- the significance or importance of any Match, Fixture or tournament in which the Participant will be ineligible to participate because of the imposition of a Suspension within the range in the Table of Offences;
- the point in the Match at which the Offence was committed;
- the conduct, including actions, words or gestures of any Participant during or related to the Match; and
- any disciplinary decision taken or failure to take a disciplinary decision by a Match Official during the Match.
(d) Any Participant bringing a challenge under this section may not challenge the Offence via mistaken identity under section 7.3.
(e) In considering a claim of this type, the DC is concerned with only the question of whether the Suspension should be altered in view of the circumstances of the case. The DC is not to usurp the role of the Match Official and the correctness of any decision to issue a Red Card shall not be subject to any scrutiny by the DC
(f) If a Participant wishes to lodge a challenge to a Suspension based on exceptional circumstances, the Participant's Club must, by 10.00am on the Monday following receipt of the Notice of Suspension, submit a notification to the appropriate email address as listed in Schedule 4.
(g) If the DC does not receive notification as prescribed and by the time specified, the Participant is deemed to have accepted the Suspension.
(h) After considering the evidence, the DC will decide whether the challenge is to be rejected or is successful.
(i) A challenge will only be successful under this section 7.4 where the club making the challenge satisfies the DC that:
i. the circumstances of the Suspension under review are exceptional; and
ii. as a result of the exceptional circumstances the Suspension would be clearly excessive.
(j) If the DC considers that the rejected challenge had no prospect of success and amounts to an abuse of process, it shall refer the matter to the Competition Secretary, who may charge the Participant and/or the Participant's Club with Misconduct pursuant to section 8.2.
(k) If the DC upholds the challenge, it shall impose such Suspension, if any, as it deems to be appropriate taking into consideration the circumstances of the subject incident, which revised Suspension, shall not be subject to any further challenge.
(l) The decision made by the DC will be conveyed to the Participant and/or the Participant's Club via email.
(m) No fee will apply to challenges made by Clubs under this section 7.4, but Clubs should note that the DC may increase a sentence in the case of an unsatisfactory challenge where the DC deems it appropriate.
7.5 Appealing a decision of the Disciplinary Committee
(a) Subject to sections 7.4(k) and 9.2, the decision of the Disciplinary Committee in relation to claims of mistaken identity in a Match Official Report (section 7.3) and Exceptional Circumstances (section 7.4) may be appealed by the Participant's Club to the Appeals Tribunal pursuant to section 9.
(b) A Participant's Club wishing to appeal a decision to the Appeals Tribunal must submit a Letter of Appeal of the relevant decision within seven (7) working days of receiving the decision and pay the relevant Application Fee (see Schedule 4).
(c) The Participant's Club should note that, other than in exceptional circumstances, the time limits set out above are strict. Only a Letter of Appeal of a decision submitted before the relevant deadlines will be considered by the AT. The Board, in its absolute discretion, shall rule with respect to whether any given circumstance is exceptional in this context.