FFSA Statement, December 28, 2018

Football Federation SA

Football Federation SA responds to the article released on Adelaide Now on December 27, 2018 in regard to sanctions handed to Adelaide City FC for breaches of National Registration Regulations and FFSA Rules and Regulations. 

FFSA strongly rejects accusations that it has targeted Adelaide City FC regarding discovery that in 2017 and 2018 it has breached a number of player regulations and competition rules.

It is disappointing that Adelaide City FC continues to endeavour to deflect attention from the recent damning findings of the sport’s independent Disciplinary Committee into the numerous breaches of the FFA Regulations and FFSA Competition Rules by attacking the governing body and its review process which uncovered the nine falsely registered players over the 2017 and 2018 seasons; and that of having a separate agreement with one of its players, outside of that disclosed to the FFSA.

Adelaide City FC has admitted to the numerous breaches of regulations and pleaded guilty at the 23 December Hearing of the Disciplinary Committee. The club, through its President also accepted that the sanctions imposed by the independent Disciplinary Committee were within the allowable range of penalties contained within the Regulations, which the DC determined properly reflected the seriousness of the breaches.

Player agreements are at the heart of the competition. The FFSA is required to ensure that the integrity of the competition is upheld at all times. 

Claims made by Adelaide City President Dino D’Ottavi that the FFSA conduct was confrontational is refuted. The matter was handled in a careful and respectful manner to ensure the following;

1.    The National Premier League Competition’s integrity was upheld.
2.    Adelaide City FC were made accountable for breaches of the rules that govern the competition.
3.    The independent disciplinary committee were presented with facts upon which to consider an appropriate penalty.

Amateur Players

The independent Disciplinary Committee (DC) found there were five breaches in 2017 and four in 2018. The committee determined that The Club had no explanation for breaches. Further, the DC found that The Club “acted in total disregard of the FFSA and FFSA regulations governing amateur players”.

The DC went on to state, “In paying amateur players for appearance and by the results of the games they played in, the Club systematically ignored the spirit and clear content of the regulations. It did so for the purpose of securing advantages for itself. It allowed players to be falsely registered.”


The Club admitted to paying a professionally registered player more than his contract. Further, the Club admitted to having a separate player contract with that player outside of that disclosed to the FFSA.

The DC stated, “We consider the conduct extremely serious. It involves flagrant and systematic breaches of rules that are intended to allow clubs to compete on an equal footing. It must have involved many high level club officials. It then obviously required the Club to behave dishonestly in registering the players to avoid revealing it’s breach.”

FFSA acts in good faith in its dealings with all clubs and expects all clubs to abide by the rules. The adherence of the competition rules and regulations is vital to the integrity of the sport and the player registration system and arrangements between clubs and its players are at the heart of our regulations. 

Education programmes are held regularly by FFSA to ensure that all clubs have a good knowledge of all regulations and its competition rules and we will continue to closely work with all our clubs to assist them in all competition and regulatory and compliance matters.

As advised previously, FFSA will be conducting a full administrative and regulatory review of amateur and player registration and compliance and contractual matters and will consult with the FFA to have this matter included in the national review of the NPL competition. 

For the record, to correct misstatements published, the financial sanctions include a total of $10,000 in fines, being $5,000 for the 2017 and $5,000 for the 2018 breaches. The forfeiture of 2017 and 2018 competition prize money is not a fine.