League needs to take responsibility for carnival mayhem


p2210-Paul-FitzsimonsBy ERWIN CHLANDA
The Australian Football League Central Australia (AFLCA) needs to take more responsibility not only for the conduct of players in the Easter Lightning Carnival, but also for their “entourage” coming to Alice Springs for the fixture.
This call comes from Paul Fitzsimons (pictured) following the rampant anti-social behaviour, rock throwing and vandalism which followed the carnival again this year.
Mr Fitzsimons is the chairman of the AFLCA Advisory Group. He is echoing comments from fellow-member of the group, Michael Liddle.
Mr Fitzsimons, who has decades of experience with local football management, says it is incumbent on the AFLCA to ensure the visitors respect the conduct the Alice Springs community is expecting from them, and have made acceptable arrangements for food, lodgings and transport back to their communities after the games.
This should be made a condition for participation in the carnival.
Mr Fitzsimons says it is not good enough for the AFLCA to just have players “running on for 100 minutes of football” and wash their hands of the often unacceptable events around the carnival.
He says his group was formed to give advice to the league, on issues of interest to the community, and representing the community.
However, the league has for some time now been “under-recognising” the committee, taking a “don’t call us, we’ll call you” attitude.
He says the “drastic underplaying of the off-field behaviour is of major concern.
“The AFLCA allows people to come to town, neglecting the need to ensure the safety and welfare of the town.
“The league pockets any profit, looks to recruit star players, seeks further community support for the game.
“The AFLCA needs to embrace the community much more than simply having paid staff oriented on their careers.”
The Alice Springs News Online has been unable to contact the league but has left messages requesting comment.


  1. No, the police need to do more, and learn, you have to do a day’s work for a day’s pay.
    This behavior is nothing new. It’s been going on for years. Football is great thing for the town and we Alice Springs people need to get behind this. The anti social behavior brings more money to the town than tourism. We have more police per capita than anywhere in Australia.

  2. Interesting comment Fitzy, but since when should one footy player have to be held accountable for the whole “entourage”. I’m sure they weren’t all piled up in just one car!
    I think it’s good to see such family involvement in such a popular sport and would have to agree with Fred on the $$ side.
    On another note – if you form part of the AFLCA advisory group then maybe you should have advised earlier given last year’s debacle, and as a local knowing what normally happens on school holidays.
    Oh no, wait a minute, that wouldn’t make sense! Seems to be the norm for board members only having something to say after the S*&^ hits the fan and has slowly come off.


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