Football Australia has issued a life ban to a spectator who performed a fascist salute at Saturday’s Australian Cup final.
- Football Australia’s life ban applies to national team matches, A-League, Australian Cup and NPL matches
- The FA said it was identifying other individuals
- FA chief wrote to supporters thanking them for ‘taking a stand’ against Sheen in final
Football Australia (FA) said in a statement that it “has adopted a zero tolerance policy for disrespectful and aggressive behavior at sanctioned events”.
The spectators have not been named, but have been identified by Football Australia.
The FA said it would continue to contact police to identify other individuals “who may have engaged in similar anti-social behavior during the Australian Cup final”.
The ban is effective immediately and applies to all football Australia-sponsored matches, including national team matches, A-League, Australian Cup and NPL matches.
Saturday’s showpiece event between Sydney United 58 and MacArthur FC at Western Sydney Stadium was marred by a number of incidents in the crowd, including disruption to the pre-match welcome to country ceremony.
Footage showed some supporters giving fascist salutes and holding banners with nationalist symbols.
A group of Sydney United supporters sang Za Dom — spremni! (For the Fatherland — Ready!): A chant associated with the far-right Croatian Ustaša movement, which committed war crimes, including genocide, in cooperation with the Italian and German fascist regimes during World War II.
FA CEO James Johnson also wrote a letter to supporters, thanking the football world for “standing up” to the actions witnessed on Saturday.
“What should have been a celebration of a great and hotly contested football game has been marred by the actions of a small group of people who do not represent the values and expectations of our football community,” he wrote.
“Their actions disrespected, hurt and offended members of our football community.
“I would like to thank Australian football for taking a position and making it clear that they will not accept this type of behavior and that our game has no place for it.
“Together we must continue to maintain the game so that the rights, dignity and worth of all are properly respected and that it remains a safe and enjoyable environment for all Australians involved in football.”
Darren Burke, CEO of the NSW Jewish Delegates, said the group cautiously welcomes Football Australia’s decision.
“Social media images show many fans participating in these abusive acts, including booing Welcome to Country. We look forward to enforcing harsh penalties,” Burke said.
“This action was an insult not only to the Jewish and Indigenous communities, but to all Australians.”
New South Wales Prime Minister Dominic Perrotet previously described the fan’s behavior as “utterly appalling”, adding: “There is no place like it in our state.”
New South Wales Police have confirmed that they continue to investigate reports of suspected anti-social and aggressive behavior in the game.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-10-05/football-australia-fan-banned-after-australia-cup-gesture/101503582 Football Australia to issue life ban to supporter for fascist salute in Australian Cup final