PLANS to introduce photo ID cards to amateur park football across Aylesbury Vale were ‘overwhelmingly’ pushed through at a meeting last week.
As of next season (2012/13) players competing in the Aylesbury and District Football League, which has 54 clubs – 38 of which are ‘member clubs’ – will have their own ‘player cards’.
The photo cards will carry the player’s name, date of birth and a picture and it is hoped they will help eradicate the problem of ‘ringers’ – unregistered players turning out for different clubs.
The plans, which had caused some controversy when they were first announced, got the green light at a meeting last Thursday evening.
Initially many clubs feared they, and their players, would have to foot the bill for the cards.
But, ADL chairman Peter Rice told The Bucks Herald that in fact the league will be paying for the first 14 players registered from each club next season.
Speaking about the decision, Rice said: “The Berks and Bucks FA have been trying to encourage the leagues to introduce this for a while.
“The pressure (for the introduction of the ID cards) has come from the players. Not the clubs, not the managers and coaches or referees, but the player themselves,” he said.
“They are fed up seeing people they know are not registered for that team turning up and playing and it is already being run in a number of leagues.”
While the vast majority of the 38 member clubs backed the plans – just two gave them the red card – Rice admitted there were some dissenters who feel the move is over the top.
He said: “There were some who were against it. Their view is that it is a bit ‘sledgehammer to crack a nut’ type thing.
“But, we were gobsmacked at the overwhelming response.
“The plans were almost unanimously backed.”
The ADL committee presented members with three options to vote on when details of plans were showcased last week.
1) Do you want photo ID cards to start from 2012/13?
2) To go away, do more work on the plans and look to introduce them in 2013/14?
3) No to photo ID.
The league has entered an agreement with a company who makes the cards and any team with more than 14 players registered will have to pay £2.50 per card.
Players will then take the card with them should they move clubs where they will need to re-register.
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