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‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers and COVID-19 contact tracers must stop, Chilliwack soccer club says

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

‘Horrific’ abusive behaviour by parents of some young soccer players has prompted a stern warning from Chilliwack’s soccer organization.

In an email sent to parents Tuesday evening, Chilliwack FC chair Andrea Laycock wrote that the club will be hiring a security company to ensure that people are following COVID-19 policies.

The soccer group’s volunteers, staff and contact tracers have been abused while trying to ensure restrictions on spectators are followed, Laycock wrote. The behaviour has been bad enough to have become a workplace safety concern, she wrote.

The name and contact details of each player is taken at the entrance to each field by contact tracers hired by the club. Because of the provincial capacity limits, only one spectator is allowed for each player. That appears to be a key sticking point for some.

“Because the interactions at the contact tracing table and inside the facilities has at times been so horrific and borderline violent, Chilliwack FC has engaged Allegiance 1 Security to do periodic sweeps of all of our venues to ensure everyone is behaving and adhering to our policy,” Laycock wrote. “Should any issues be reported, the Chilliwack FC Disciplinary Committee will become involved and the offender(s) risk being banned from attending games to being expelled from Chilliwack FC. Enough is enough!

“It deeply saddens the Chilliwack FC Executive to have to take these measures. We understand and respect these are difficult times for many of us but we simply cannot condone the shockingly poor behaviour we’ve seen the past couple of weeks.”

The email closes by thanking those who have complied with the rules and supported the club, while warning that “those of you who have chosen to make an already challenging situation even more so, you’ve been put on notice.”

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