FFA to investigate crowd violence at Melbourne-Sydney match

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A view of Telstra Dome from Melbourne Docklands on September 25th, 2007.
Image: Brad Dixon.

Australian football's controlling body, Football Federation Australia, will launch an investigation into reported crowd violence at an A-League match between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC on November 10.

The match at Telstra Dome in Melbourne, Australia, which attracted more than 30,000 spectators, ended in a 0-0 draw. According to reports from the Fairfax Media publications, fans threw seats at their rivals at the conclusion of the match.

It has also been reported that a number of Melbourne supporters "invaded the pitch and set fire to items on the field", also after the match.

Police were reportedly forced to react with capsicum spray to de-esculate the situation. Although Sydney fans had been relocated into an area separate from the home supporters, reports suggest they were provoked and retaliated by using the seating as projectiles.

Rob Abernethy, who was appointed head of A-League operations by the FFA, said that the governing body had requested reports from the Telstra Dome, the Melbourne Victory Football Club, as well as the police and security companies employed at the event.

Abernethy also condemned the alleged behaviour, questioning whether the people involved should be considered 'supporters'. "It is disappointing that a minority of so-called supporters may have behaved in an inappropriate manner", he said.