Rona Wignall, an 18-year-old Waterside Karori player, says she was “king-hit” by Lower Hutt City goalie Lisa Pahl while other players were shaking hands after last month’s match at Te Whaea Park in Newtown, Wellington.
Wignall said she and Pahl had a running verbal battle throughout the game and admits she asked “Are you even a girl?” in the second half. After the final whistle, she said Pahl retaliated with a punch.
“I did say that but she’d already said some things beforehand. I didn’t start it … she came up behind me and just said ‘Hey No 3.’
“The next thing I know, I was on the ground and I couldn’t open my eyes. I’m the most competitive person you could get, but I don’t go around hitting people.”
Capital Football originally banned Pahl for eight games, but this week it reduced that to five games, based on a view that Pahl had received “significant and sustained abuse of a personal nature”. Pahl was also fined $200.
Earlier this month, Capital Football boss Grant Herman wrote to clubs demanding they clamp down on foul play, but he denied yesterday that Pahl’s penalty was too soft. “Five weeks is actually a reasonably serious penalty.
“I made a point to all the clubs in the email I sent, but we also have to be fair in each individual instance as well.”
Karori coach Mike Greene, who also refereed the game with Lower Hutt’s agreement, disagreed.
“A player knocking another player out stone cold … a five-game suspension, I see that as being too lenient,” he said.
Greene was disappointed Karori were not consulted by the disciplinary committee, including Herman, a Capital Football board member and a former referee.
“They haven’t actually asked me or Rona or anyone what happened. I have questions over the way the hearings work, if they’re only going to invite Lower Hutt along to state their case.”
Pahl could not be contacted yesterday, but a member of the Lower Hutt team said she was embarrassed by the incident.
Source: SAM WORTHINGTON/ stuff.co.nz
Photo: CHRIS SKELTON/ The Dominion Post