Soccer Association calls on league to suspend all Burrillville sports

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BURRILLVILLE – The Rhode Island Soccer Association has publicly called on the state’s governing league to suspend all Burrillville sports for one year following widely-publicized reports of inappropriate behavior by fans during a Broncos girls’ volleyball game in September.

The game was held in Burrillville on Tuesday, Sept. 25 and according to reports, fans in town had planned a red, white and blue theme, donning American flags. School officials and parents from the opposing team in Central Falls said they also yelled offensive and racist slurs at the girls, and tried to intimidate the players in the parking lot following the match.

Central Falls Supt. Stephanie Downey Toledo has called on the Rhode Island Interscholastic League to investigate the incident and this week, the association declared a position on social media.

“The Rhode Island Soccer Association on behalf of our 1,300 players and their families asks that the RIIL suspend Burri(ll)ville from Interscholastic sports competition for one year immediately,” the organization wrote on Facebook on Saturday, Oct. 5.

RISA is the governing body for amateur soccer in the state under the U.S. Soccer Federation and U.S. Soccer.

The news follows a brief statement by Supt. Michael Sollitto on Wednesday, Oct. 2, which did not specify if or when any students from Burrillville had been punished following the incident.

“Any representative of Burrillville High School found to be making inappropriate comments towards opposing players on any team, has faced disciplinary action,” the Burrillville superintendent wrote.

Sollitto has said it will be his only statement on the matter.

Burrillville High School Basketball spread word of RISA’s request on social media.

“There’s a hearing this Friday and RIIL will determine our fate,” the post stated. “I don’t know how many people have taken the time to make contact with them but I think it’s very prudent that everyone in town start contacting them now on behalf of our students.”

RIIL Executive Director Thomas Mezzanotte could not immediately be reached for comment.

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