Squamish Mens Soccer League administrators, officials and team representatives handed down some harsh penalties last week in response to two complaints of unsportsmanlike behaviour.
In the more serious incident, in which a player spat in the face of a referee, the player was suspended for one full year. After his suspension is up, the player will have to reapply for reinstatement into the league.
In the other incident a player was suspended for six games for verbally harassing the referee and other players.
"This is something that is totally out of character for our league," said league secretary Kim Stanley. "Its unfortunate.
"In the last few years the calibre of the league has gotten higher and higher, and we dont want these kinds of things to bring it down. The suspensions were a pretty serious message that that kind of behaviour wont be tolerated."
Stanley added: "This is a family league, and we want kids on the sidelines and people out there watching."
In regards to an alleged incident involving drinking on the sidelines, Stanley said it was a fan not a player who was involved, and that it only happened on one occasion.
The league is also empowering referees to take action, handing out cards and even recommending suspensions to curb unsportsmanlike behaviour. Team representatives are also getting involved, making it clear to players what is required of them.
"Right now we have 160 players in the league, and only two of them did something wrong," said Stanley.
"The league is really growing and getting competitive, and the Whistler content is a big part of the reason. We dont need the perception out there that the players are a bunch of yahoos, because its not true."
The Squamish Mens Soccer League is making up a week lost due to the flooding this Sunday, after which point the league will break for Christmas. The 21-game schedule will resume in February, weather permitting.
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