Soccer club furious at light sentence



GLADSTONE United Soccer Club is furious over the recent decision by Gladstone Soccer Federation to give a suspended sentence to Clinton player Jeff Zawila.

Mr Zawila had appeared before the Federation to answer charges of racial vilification of United player Greg Donald at a Capricorn Soccer League match at Clinton earlier this year.

United Soccer coach Tony Gilmore said the decision was a disgrace.

"Zawila was put on a 12-month suspended sentence conditional upon him not making any further racial comments,'' Mr Gilmore said.

"And he has to make a written apology to Greg Donald, the player he vilified.''

Mr Gilmore said the decision reflected badly on Gladstone. "We have lots of kids from a variety of racial backgrounds playing soccer.

"What is the message we are sending to these kids?

"That it is OK to make racial slurs against people?''

Mr Gilmore said United would not be accepting the decision and was taking the matter further.

And he said it was an indication the Federation was not doing its job.

United President Brad Hitchcock said the decision was a disgrace.

"As far as we are concerned he has gotten off scot free.''

The Observer contacted Greg Donald and was informed he had been advised by his legal team not to comment on the decision.

Jeff Zawila also refused to comment on the decision, saying it was a private matter.

Soccer Queensland's David Kay said the association would not become involved until all avenues of appeal had been exhausted.



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