Its do as I say but not as I do at Vikings…
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Vikings Nationals 2012
For a long time Vikings have pushed the line of being all inclusive when it comes to Futsal. An organisation dedicated to Futsal and to ensuring everyone can play. They have done a great job spreading the joy of Futsal to areas where traditional FIFA sanctioned bodies were too lazy to get involved or just disinterested in the benefits of the sport overall. Just look at the number of articles on Futsal4all that are from Vikings competitions and players.
Recent correspondence we’ve seen regarding the upcoming Vikings and FFA Nationals raises questions that Vikings seem unwilling to address and are passing the buck about. The correspondence relates to players who wish to play a both the FFA Nationals and the Vikings Nationals. Yes this would be a very small subset of the elite players, but highlights an issue that is certain worth covering in Futsal Rant.
Vikings NSW (known now as NSW Futsal) have chosen to exclude female players from the Vikings Nationals who have also been selected to represent their state at the FFA Nationals. Rather than give clear answers, they have passed the buck to the head of Vikings, who in turn has passed the buck back to Vikings NSW. Vikings NSW in the meantime have then gone silent.
Some facts to build the picture :
- Numerous players participating in the Vikings Nationals representing ‘NSW regions’ are registered with FFA to play endorsed comps all year round and have been for many years without any issues
- Based solely on FFA Nationals participation a player has not only been denied Vikings Nationals participation but refused registration all together
- Players have participated in both FFA and Vikings Nationals in past years, but a recent decision to change policy for playing eligibility is restricting players from doing both. The most recent (September 2011) policy on tournament regulations publicly available: http://futsal4all.com/2011/12/vikings-national-futsal-championships-2012-draw/ does not state any such changes.
- Vikings teammates and FFA teammates are happy for players to play at both Nationals
- FFA and Vikings are completely separate organisations therefore ‘dual registration’ or ‘sanctioning’ a players release is not an issue
A quote from the head of Vikings before an International Womens Tour was :
It’s not about FFA verses Vikings, we’re not trying to take away anything from you girls playing futsal in your state. It’s all about PLAYING futsal and having the best of opportunities
This certainly doesn’t seem to be the case here anymore for Vikings. In fact the traditionally stubborn FFA affiliated organisations from what we have been told are happy to let their elite players compete at the Vikings Nationals if they choose to do so.
So why exclude the players Vikings? If they are eligible, are registered for your organisation, and their team are happy for them to attend the FFA Nationals, why have you excluded them from the Vikings Nationals?
Things seem to be heating up in the Vikings camp when it comes to keeping their players in-house. We also have independent word of a particular top level Mens player who has been strongly ‘advised’ to not get involved in the FFA Nationals.
Whilst on the topic, another interesting note came out of the correspondence. Participation in the NSW Futsal Association State Titles held in November 2011 was ‘compulsory’ for players to be eligible to trial for the NSW team for the Vikings Nationals. Many existing players were unaware of that, and found that it was disregarded later anyway in allowing players to successfully submit a team for registration in the Vikings 2012 Nationals under a NSW name. This seems to fit what we’ve seen in the team lists for Vikings Nationals up to this point.
There is plenty of room for all sorts of organisations to offer Futsal to the community, the policies in place just need to be more transparent for everyone involved so we don’t get these sorts of situations.
Come on Vikings, especially NSW Vikings, lift your game as this doesn’t cast you guys in a good light!!
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