Feature

Punishment for Wanderers is fair

Craig Foster argues that the punishment handed down - a $50,000 fine and a suspended three points deduction - by FFA to the Western Sydney Wanderers is fair and that we all must condemn flares.

Flare RBB

Source: AAP

The FFA has handled the situation regarding flares being lit at the Victory match correctly.

I believe this incident has been important to put everyone on notice so that we can stamp out what is a blight on the game, once and for all.

And it takes the possibility of losing points to really focus the minds and lead to internal action. The right culture built from within, not imposed from without and we are all implicit. media needs to condemn, unambiguously. Fellow fans need to report, unambiguously. Everyone needs to be clear on the potential damage, and resolve to rid ourselves of this issue. 

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Lighting flares is not brave. It is not cool. It simply means you care nothing for your club and the game because the damage to the confidence of the Australian public and potential for someone to get badly hurt means there is no place for incendiary devices at football matches. 

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No one wanted the Wanderers to be docked competition points and John Tsatsimas and co are unquestionably working diligently to try to avoid a recurrence of these events.

But we must all play a part.

The first step is to recognise that if someone gets seriously hurt by a flare at a match, you will have deeply damaged the game’s image notwithstanding that every one of us has a right to frequent football matches in total safety without the risk accompanying these idiotic devices. 

The game does not need to be dragged into these discussions. We left them behind a long time ago and this is a very real challenge to every fan in the vicinity of those acting in this way. What are you going to do to ensure this doesn’t happen again? 

The game cannot stand by, nor can fans in active support areas and tacitly allow everyone to be dragged into these incidents without creating our own culture whereby it is not permissible. Where we all reject anyone risking the image of the game.

Wanderer fans let off flares


We have all worked too hard together, every stakeholder to get where we are and no individual has the right to detract from the trajectory of football.

The suspended points deduction is the right penalty. It makes everyone accountable, from the club to the remaining fans in the areas where this is occurring, and places the onus on self policing and building the right culture to support the game and never act in a manner that risks its progress.

All of us must stand up now, after this unsavoury and unnecessary incident and decide that enough is enough. If you see any idiot with a flare, make sure they know that the rest of us, those that want the game to progress and would do nothing to risk that, would like to see the back of them.

The coaches, players and club personnel deserve far more than having their competitive efforts compromised by someone with nothing to offer the game but suffering.

Flares are illegal and dangerous.

All of us need to work together to condemn anyone willing to damage a team, club, competition and the game.


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3 min read
Published 11 February 2016 at 1:47pm
By Craig Foster