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Geelong brawl will not lead to AFL segregating fans
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan has ruled out segregating fans after a brawl erupted following Saturday night’s fixture between the Cats and Melbourne at Geelong's GMHBA Stadium.
Speaking to Triple M, McLachlan advised “segregation is not happening.
"We have seven million people go to our game … everyone gets on famously, it's a part of our game, sitting with opposition supporters, we're able to do it the right way and have a great time.”
An earlier statement from the Kardinia Park Trust has suggested that it would consider separating fans from opposing teams in response to the brawl at the venue.
Trust Chief Executive Michael Brown said the idea did not appeal to him, but it was an option, commenting “we've been really lucky in AFL football that we haven't had to do that (and) we'd prefer not to do that.
"Kardinia Park is the people's ground, it's a ground of the community. However, if the behaviour continues to be not of an appropriate standard, all those measures need to be considered by the trust."
McLachlan said all fans should not be punished for the actions of a few, adding “the issue here is individual accountability.
"It's idiotic, crazy behaviour, and they need to be held to account. Police need to be prosecuting these guys and holding them to account."
Victorian Police are investigating one allegation of assault at three-quarter time of the match, while a video on social media showed several men pushing and kicking each other in the stands after the match finished.
The brawl was the latest in a series of violent crowd incidents at AFL venues this season.
A man was glassed at Kardinia Park during a match between Geelong and Carlton, while fights were caught on camera at two separate matches at Docklands.
The first fight at Docklands, involving 10 fans, broke out during a St Kilda and Collingwood, while a week later nine people became caught up in a brawl when the Magpies played the Western Bulldogs.
In April, a fight broke out during a Port Adelaide and Geelong match at Adelaide Oval.
Brown said those responsible for Saturday's brawl would be banned from the venue, and he called for the Melbourne and Geelong football clubs to revoke the memberships of any members identified in the violence.
Brown added “clubs are crowing about the numbers of people they have attracted to the game but there's some responsibility with that.
"If I'm a member of a golf club, I have a series of behaviours that I have to adhere to. And I think that members of football clubs should have the same."
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told ABC Radio Melbourne that one of the great features of AFL was that opposing fans were not segregated, concluding “that's a unique feature (of AFL) and we should do everything we can to hold on to that," he said.
"No one's diminishing how ugly those scenes were, how serious this issue is.
"Having seen the footage on the news last night, it seemed to me there had been a fair few beers drunk down there.
"The key point is this: if you're in that sort of state perhaps you shouldn't have been served."
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