No justification for letting off flares, it is a criminal offence
THE anti-social behaviour of a handful of Wanderers fans just gives oxygen to those people who don’t believe football is an Australian sport. That’s the reality. Letting off flares at a football match is a criminal act. I don’t care how some people might be trying to defend it, it’s stupid, it’s not wanted and, most importantly, it’s illegal. That’s all there is to it.
After last Sunday’s Sydney derby at Allianz Stadium, we should have been talking about the brilliant crowd which turned up to watch in the pouring rain and of the wonderful performance of Sydney FC, whose star players Adrian Mierzejewski, Bobo and Milos Ninkovic are, at times, breathtaking to watch.
Instead, we’re talking about flares and anti-social banners aimed at the police and Football Federation Australia. I don’t want to see images on the back page of The Daily Telegraph of a man sticking his finger up to our game — it’s those images that make people view football as unAustralian.
Those members of the RBB have let down the rest of the club’s fans, the majority of whom have been superb during what’s been a difficult season for the Wanderers.
On the field, it’s taken the team time to adjust to a new coach, all while their stadium is being rebuilt and they are essentially nomads. But the fans have gone to ANZ Stadium, they’ve gone to Spotless Stadi- um, in their numbers to support their team.
For the players, it’s disappointing that there will be no active support during a crucial part of the season. The RBB does create a wonderful atmosphere and the Wanderers need all the support they can get, especially at home, as they chase a top-six finish. The RBB can still buy tickets and sit in other parts of the stadium and
hopefully they do that. The club was brilliant in its response to the flares and acted swiftly to punish the RBB by closing the active support area for today’s match against Perth Glory. It was the reason the Wanderers escaped an immediate points deduction, which would have been unfair on the players and coaching staff.
Instead, they’ve got another suspended points deduction hanging over their heads.
It’s a shame because the RBB has really changed the game, more often than not for the better. They’ve brought such a unique atmosphere to matches and, at times, perhaps FFA has been harsh on them. But you simply cannot have anti-social and illegal behaviour at games.
Simple as that.