Fighter Jets stripped of playoff eligibility, Bucs to host AFL playoff game

The Central Alberta Buccaneers are set to host an Alberta Football League playoff game.

A post on the league’s Facebook page announced that the number one seeded Cold Lake Fighter Jets contravened the league compensation act.

As a result, they were stripped of playoff eligibility. Fines and suspensions were issued for the violations. That moved the Bucs up into the second playoff spot and as a result, will host a post-season game on Aug. 17.

Bucs team president Vince Roth confirmed the violation on Thursday. The league held a phone conference Wednesday night when the sanctions were applied.

“Over the last few weeks, as a league council which is the presidents of all the teams in the league, it was brought to our attention there was a potential that they had paid for some players flights and done some other things. We compiled all that evidence and held a telephone hearing (Wednesday),” Roth said.

“At the conclusion of the hearing, we found them guilty. Ultimately decided to remove their playoff eligibility as per the AFL Compensation Act. We levied some fines and some suspensions against individuals that were directly involved as well.”

It’s not the first time the league has had issues. The Bucs were charged with similar violations of paying players in 2016. Roth said following that, the league drew up bylaws that explicitly outline compensation rules and spell out the consequences for breaching those rules.

All that means the Bucs will now move up to the number two seed in the playoffs. They will host the Fort McMurray Monarchs at Great Chief Park in the league semifinals on Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.

“Everybody is pretty pumped to play at home. It’s always good to play in front of your own fans and it makes it that much better when it’s an all or nothing game. We’ve gotta go out there and perform well to keep our season alive,” Roth said.

Central Alberta took out the Monarchs in both meetings this season. They combined to score 127 points in those two affairs. So, football fans can expect another gunslinging matchup on Saturday.

“Our main success is our receiving core. and (Jarett Burzuk) at quarterback. He leads the league, he’s the best quarterback in the league right now. You look at our receivers and we’ve got two or three guys in the top five,” Roth said.

“Our defence didn’t let us down last time we played Fort Mac. They did an excellent job and I expect they’ll do the same thing this weekend… it’s going to be a good shootout I think.”

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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