Football 3 years ago

A-League's biggest clubs demand fan fix

  • A-League's biggest clubs demand fan fix

The chasm between A-League fans and Football Federation Australia is widening, with both Sydney FC's and Western Sydney's supporter groups vowing to boycott matches and a swathe of other clubs set to join the mutiny.

After FFA chief executive David Gallop's remarks on Tuesday exacerbated tensions with supporters, the Wanderers' Red and Black Bloc (RBB) declared on Facebook they would boycott Saturday's home match with Brisbane at Pirtek Stadium.

Late on Tuesday night Sydney FC's The Cove posted a lengthy statement of their own laying out their intention to follow suit by avoiding Thursday's home game against Newcastle at Allianz Stadium.

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The move is a clear departure from The Cove's previous stance, after they eschewed mid-match walkouts like those undertaken by the RBB and Melbourne Victory's North Terrace last weekend.

They opted instead to air their grievances on banners - an action taken by many active supporters - and also held a meeting with FFA last week.

But The Cove said the governing body had "failed miserably" in its duty to protect the reputation of the game from those outside who wish to harm it, and slammed the unpopular stadium ban appeals process as showing "contempt for basic human rights".

"This is not an action taken lightly, we have tried to discuss issues with the FFA directly, this did not work," the Facebook statement read.

"What we were told was quickly contradicted and contradicted again ... it appears that the FFA needs to better understand how serious the issues are.

"It is clear from Gallop's words that not only does he not have the answers, he is yet to comprehend the questions."

The Cove said they made the decision to boycott after consulting with other fan groups, most of whom are also planning to take similar action.

On Tuesday evening North Terrace re-posted the RBB's statement along with the words "United in justice".

The issue of ban appeals has been at the heart of fan anger since News Corp Australia published names and photos of 198 banned A-League fans 10 days ago.

Furious supporters across numerous clubs have united in their demand for a transparent appeals process that allows a banned person to view and refute the evidence used against them.

In Gallop's first press conference on the issue, he reiterated that if fans could prove they had been wrongfully banned, their ban would be overturned.

But they would not be allowed to view evidence against them for confidentiality purposes.

Gallop, who slammed the leaks and confirmed they are being investigated, urged fans to redirect their anger "in a positive way" to help grow the game.

The Cove also has scheduled meetings this week with the SCG Trust and senior members of the NSW Police.

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