A-League: Coach alleged to have punched a player

Perth Glory claim a training ground incident between the club’s A-League coach Ruben Zadkovich and one of his players was “exaggerated”, with the pair to face “no further action”.

Officials from Professional Footballers Australia investigated claims on Thursday that an A-League coach punched one of his players at a training session this week.

The alleged incident was understood to have occurred during a five-a-side training game in which the coach was involved.

PFA, the players’ union, confirmed it was investigating the matter when contacted by NCA NewsWire on Thursday afternoon.

“The PFA has received reports of an alleged incident and is making inquiries,” a PFA spokesman said.

Despite both the PFA and the Australian Professional Leagues not having named the Perth club, Zadkovich and the player – understood to be 22-year-old Giordano Colli – the Glory felt the need to release a statement at 7.45pm (AEDT) to address the matter.

“The club has been made aware of reports regarding an alleged altercation between a member of its coaching staff and a player at an A-League Men’s training session earlier this week,” the statement said.

“Perth Glory can confirm that no complaint was made internally and that neither Australian Professional Leagues, Professional Footballers Australia, or the club will be taking the matter any further.”

NCA – which was forwarded several text messages sent by players confirming that an incident had taken place – had been told by Glory chairman Tony Sage, who is currently in Zurich, that a joint statement from Zadkovich and Colli would be forthcoming, but it never eventuated.

Glory chief executive Anthony Radich said: “The club regards the safety and wellbeing of its players and staff as its highest priority.

“Accordingly, I have spoken to the coach and the player allegedly involved and also consulted with both APL and PFA.

“Based on these discussions, I have concluded that the alleged incident has been exaggerated and am satisfied that no further action is required.”

Earlier, a Glory official, when contacted by NCA, said he was “unable to comment”.

Zadkovich, whose side meet Brisbane Roar at Kayo Stadium on Sunday, is set to address the incident at a press conference on Friday.

A-League boss Danny Townsend was comfortable that the matter had been dealt with by the Glory.

“As far as we’re concerned, the matter is closed,” Townsend said.

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