Shetland Island Games Association (SIGA) is to send a letter to every member of the football squad expressing disappointment at the “inappropriate” behaviour and excessive drinking of some of the players during the Island Games competition in Åland last weekend, which led to one player spending a night in the cells.
A disciplinary hearing may be held into the behaviour of 22-year-old Celtic forward Joe Leask, after he was arrested and taken into custody for his own safety having fallen asleep on the street in Mariehamn in the aftermath of Saturday night’s closing bash, although no charges were pressed and he was released within a few hours.
SIGA this week voiced its more general disapproval of the “considerable excess” to which some players were drinking in circumstances where they were supposed to be acting as ambassadors for Shetland. Team manager Bob Kerr said it was a matter both for SIGA and the Shetland Football Association (SFA) to look into but that possible sanctions could include individuals being banned from taking part in future Island Games competitions.
In a strongly-worded statement, Mr Kerr said: “SIGA is disappointed in the behaviour of some members of the Shetland football team who drank to considerable excess on the closing night of the games in Åland. This was inappropriate, unacceptable and reflects poorly on the football team and the overall Shetland team as a whole.
“The issue of sanctions are matters for both SIGA, who submit the Shetland team entry, and Shetland Football Association, who select the players for the football squad. SIGA will be writing to all the players in the football squad to express overall disappointment in the behaviour of some members of the squad.
“I understand that the football manager, John Jamieson, is also considering sanctions against certain individuals, who may not be selected for upcoming matches.”
Mr Kerr added that SIGA would be discussing any possible sanctions for selection to future Island Games. It is an option, he said, within the code of conduct for all team members that some individuals could be banned from competing at future games “although no disciplinary discussions have yet been had”.
It is understood that parents of some of the younger members of the Shetland travelling party – which included 18 competitors under the age of 18 – have also been concerned to learn of the footballers’ behaviour. Some of the players were segregated from the youngsters on the charter flight back to Aberdeen.