WRFL, clubs condemn violence

St Albans Football Club coach Perry Meka. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

By Lance Jenkinson

A heated confrontation which led to St Albans coach Perry Meka requiring hospital treatment has been condemned.

The Western Region Football League confirmed in a statement that an incident took place after the Hoppers Crossing and St Albans division 1 game at Hogans Road Reserve on Saturday.

The WRFL is further investigating what took place following Hoppers Crossing’s 23-point win.

Video of the incident shows supporters gathering outside the ground. The St Albans coach was then allegedly struck and taken to hospital with head injuries.

A statement from the WRFL said: “The WRFL can confirm an alleged incident took place 45 minutes to an hour after Saturday’s senior match between Hoppers Crossing and St Albans. The WRFL is investigating further, as are the two clubs.

“The WRFL is proud of the tireless work clubs and the league undertake to establish a safe, welcoming and family-friendly environment.

“The WRFL and its clubs condemn the actions of any individual that undermine that considerable work.

“As the matter is now with Victoria Police, the WRFL has no further comment at this time.”

Hoppers Crossing president Darren Cassar strongly condemned acts of violence at football matches.

Cassar, who had already left Hogans Road Reserve before the alleged incident took place, offered his support to Meka and stood in solidarity with St Albans president James Perkin.

“Both myself and James Perkin, of the St Albans Football Club, are totally against any violence,” Cassar said.

“Football clubs and football grounds are a happy place for people to come and show support, regardless of what team they’re supporting and should be made to feel safe.”

Cassar has been in contact with Meka since the alleged incident to check on his health.

“I’ve spoken to him three times and he seems to be okay,” Cassar said.

“I wish St Albans all the very best for the remainder of the year.

“I wish Perry Meka all very best and I hope his health is what it was and the very best it can be.”

Cassar said the Hoppers Crossing Football Club has co-operated with both Victoria Police and WRFL investigations.

He praised the WRFL for its support of both sides.

“The WRFL have been instrumental again in support to both clubs,” Cassar said.

“I’m sure that everyone just wants to move on now. I really hope we can all move on as a football community.”

Perkin has been instructed by Victoria Police not to comment on what is an ongoing investigation.

“Police have instructed me to say nothing,” Perkin said.

“If there does become a time when I can talk, I’ll give you a call.”