Rival clubs join forces in common cause

A-League supporter groups from several clubs will put their rivalries aside this weekend for a common cause - a response to the exposure of a list of banned fans, and the delayed reaction by Football Federation Australia.

Victory fans

Melbourne Victory fans will

The protests come off the back of a leaked document exposing the names of 198 football fans banned from attending football matches in Australia and New Zealand. 

A number of fans are now exploring their legal options after being identified by News Corp Australia, with one claiming he has lost his job as a result.

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A-League supporters' groups feel the FFA have not adequately investigated how the leak occured and believe the governing body failed to defend their fans after scathing attacks from the likes of Rebecca Wilson and Alan Jones.

"The growth of the sport has become an obvious threat to other codes. Fans were targeted and it is time for the FFA to defend their biggest asset, the paying customers," an RBB statment read.







The FFA insist their fan banning process is taken 'very seriously' and that an appeal process is in place if the banned spectator can provide sufficient evidence.

An FFA statement read: "Since the inception of the Banning Process, it has always been the case that if a banned person can prove that they did not engage in the relevant behaviour the ban will not apply. If a banned person can bring the evidence that proves this to FFA through their club, the ban will be lifted." 

In protest, the RBB have declared they will walk out during the Wanderers' clash with Central Coast Mariners, while the North Terrace (Melbourne Victory) will follow suit against firece rivals Adelaide United on Saturday night. 

"Some things are bigger than one match of football. We cannot continue to ignore the situation where our basic rights are trodden on and our banned supporters are left in the dark," a statment from the North Terrace read.

The Cove is also among the aggrieved and have met with FFA to understand their “viewpoint and attitudes towards football fans."

They will also hold meetings with NSW Police and the SCG Trust next week. However, they believe walk-outs are the wrong way to advocate change.

Following the North Terrace's decision to protest, Melbourne Victory defender Daniel Gorgievski expressed his unconditional backing of Victory fans.

"If the fans want to do that we have to support them as much as they support us, we do want them there [at the game] but if they want to do that we are behind them no matter what," Gorgievski told the Daily Football Show.

In a unique twist, fans of the Wanderers and Victory have come together to release a joint statement, which they hope will spark the FFA into action.

"Until these steps are addressed, we will continue to take the action we deem necessary to bring these issues to light, and to ensure the rights and confidentiality of all fans is upheld," the statement read.

ACTION REQUESTED OF FFA:

1. Issue a statement condemning the articles and supporting the fans.

2. Launch an investigation into how such information was leaked and present the findings to the public in a transparent manner.

3. Work out and implement an INDEPENDENT & TRANSPARENT APPEALS PROCESS, agreed upon by all parties including every active support group.


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3 min read
Published 26 November 2015 at 1:09pm
By Basil Saab