Rape-accused Australian footballers were not on an official trip: Club

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Melbourne, Oct. 28 (ANI): An Australian football club, rocked by sexual assault allegations, is trying to defend its reputation by saying that its teenager players were not on an official trip to Phillip Island, where they allegedly raped two women.

On Tuesday, 16 men, including some Montmorency Football Club members, were arrested for their alleged involvement in the island rape during an end of season football trip earlier this month.

"What we can tell you is that the alleged accommodation/booking was made by private individuals and was not a club-organised or sanctioned event," Montmorency Football Club president Gary Green said.

The Age quoted Northern Football League general manager Kevin Crompton, as saying: "The club was unaware that it had players at Phillip Island."

He added that the trip to Phillip Island was not sanctioned by the club as the official end of season celebration had already taken place inter-state.

Crompton said the players involved were members of the Montmorency Football Club, but it could not be confirmed how many of those arrested were actual club members.

He said the football club and the league were "bitterly disappointed" at the allegations as they had tried hard to educate the players about violence on and off the field.

"The NFL takes the allegations very seriously and encourages anyone with any information to come forward," Crompton said.

Four of the men have already been released pending further inquiries. The rest remain in police custody, but no charges have een laid. (ANI)

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