Penrith officials have warned players and fans that more rugby league games could be called off due to gang violence fears after police forced the cancellation of a match in Sydney’s west last weekend.
Officers had the match between Londonderry and St Pats in Sydney’s west called off after being told gang violence was likely to occur, prompting a warning that other games could suffer the same fate.
The Penrith Panthers Juniors released a statement on Wednesday alerting players and fans to the possibility police could wipe out more fixtures in the near future.
‘Please note: The NSW Police Force will be cancelling matches across the state from this weekend where intelligence suggests everyone’s safety is compromised,’ read the letter from Panthers Juniors general manager Nathan Mairleitner.
The general manager of Penrith Juniors has warned players, parents and fans theat teams could be dumped from competitions if people are found to be organising violence on the field
Nathan Mairleitner warned footballers and spectators they must come forward and tell police if they know about planned violence at matches
‘Detective Chief Inspector Newman from our local command and Crime Manager across Western Sydney are making general inquiries and will be contacting sporting clubs directly to identify players who are making threats and/or plans to instigate violence on our fields, this includes correspondence on players being joined in by spectators being armed with weapons.’
The statement then told players and fans they must tell the police if they are aware of any threats of violence or intimidation surrounding games.
Mairleitner warned ‘all players, coaches, parents and spectators’ that they will be banned from the game with teams removed from competitions altogether if they’re found to be involved with ‘organising acts of violence on or off the field’.
Gang violence fears led to the cancellation of a game between Londonderry and St Pat’s in Sydney’s west last weekend
Doonside Junior Rugby League Club shared Penrith Juniors’ warning after one of its former players, Uati Faletolou (pictured), was stabbed to death in April in an attack that could be connected to Sydney’s ‘postcode’ gang violence
The statement was shared by the Doonside Junior Rugby League Club after one of its ex-players, Uati Faletolu was stabbed to death at the Sydney Easter Show in April in an attack that could be connected to a gang ‘postcode war’ between groups from Doonside and Mount Druitt.
His death prompted Manly star Josh Aloiai to send a powerful message urging people to end gang conflicts.
‘Islanders are assaulting and killing other islanders in the streets. Often kids. Our very own people! Where have we lost our identity?’ Aloiai asked on Instagram.
‘Most of our Olds moved from the islands to countries like NZ and Australia to create a better life.
‘It’s one thing to be proud of where you come from because that’s part of your story. It’s a whole other thing to fight for your postcode and your suburb. Your postcode and your suburb doesn’t care about you! Fight to be a role model for your brothers and sisters!’