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Clubs in the Kent County Football League warned over discipline

By Andrew Gidley

Secretary Gavin Hoare has warned clubs could be expelled from the Kent County League if on-field discipline doesn’t improve.

Seven matches were abandoned last season due to serious player misconduct and Mr Hoare says the league may present rule changes for the 2018/19 season should the problem occur again.

Speaking at the league’s annual meeting in Sittingbourne, he said: “If you cannot control those setting out to give your club and this league a bad name, we will look at ways of doing it, and if we have to take the ultimate sanction, then we would expect all those who share our beliefs and ethos to give us their full support.

Gavin Hoare
Gavin Hoare

“Fixtures abandoned through serious player misconduct must carry the harshest of penalties. Do we want thuggery in this league?

“Do we want to see people put in hospital, because players cannot control their emotions and anger?

“If you do then you are in the wrong league. There are existing rules that we can use, and will use.”

He added: “You cannot keep blaming match officials for all the problems, the league has played its part, and removed referees not making the grade, let’s see clubs rid themselves of the mindless few who cannot control themselves, persistent offenders can and will be removed.

“The Emergency Appeals and Disciplinary Committee will be meeting (before the start of next season) with any club charged and found guilty of being involved in an abandoned game, along with those that have disciplinary levels that far exceed the league average. These meetings will not be optional.”

Eleven new clubs were elected, including some returning to the competition.

They are Herne Bay Reserves, Lordswood Reserves, Faversham Town Reserves, Woodnesborough, Bromley Green - Premier Division champions in 2012, Tenterden Town, Deal Town Rangers, AFC Ashford Athletic, CC Sport - a link-up between Canterbury City and Christ Church University, Red Velvet and AFC Lewisham.

Three other existing clubs will field reserve teams - Deal Sports, Old Bromleians and South East Athletic.

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