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Western Sydney Wanderers hit with fine and suspended three-point deduction over flare use
Football Federation Australia (FFA) has fined the Western Sydney Wanderers $50,000 and imposed a suspended three-point A-League deduction, suspended for 12 months, after some of their supporters ignited flares at a match last weekend.
The FFA found the club guilty of bringing the game into disrepute after disruption to the Wanderers A-League game against at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium
Some 25 flares and detonators were set off in the away end and outside the stadium, causing play to be held up as smoke cleared from the ground.
FFA Chief executive David Gallop labelled the conduct of those individuals as deplorable and stressed it would not be tolerated.
Gallop stated "the events of last Saturday night and the coordinated misconduct of a section of Western Sydney Wanderers fans cannot be tolerated by anyone in Australian football.
"The misconduct was not only dangerous and threatening but the coordinated and calculated way the fans behaved was a serious blight on the reputation of football and everyone involved in our game including clubs, members, fans, players and officials."
The suspended points deduction will hang over the Wanderers' in their a tight battle for the A-League premiership, with the club level on points at the top with Brisbane Roar, and Melbourne City, Victory and Sydney FC all in hot pursuit.
A national flare management plan will also be put in place by the FFA in a bid to rid the sport of such devices at football matches in Australia.
Gallop said the Wanderers' response to the incident was taken into consideration when mulling the severity of the punishment.
He added "the actions on Saturday night were deplorable ... this is criminal behaviour that cannot be tolerated.
"There are thousands of fans that are having their reputations damaged by a very small number of people acting in a deplorable way.
"Those fans who lit flares are not true fans.
"The Wanderers are taking this issue very seriously. They want to make home and away games a safe place to be."
The Wanderers issued a statement accepting the fine and suspended point deduction.
Wanderers Chief Executive John Tsatsimas advised “we have always been consistent in our stance on anti-social behaviour and use of flares – that is one of zero tolerance.
“We have 18,000 members who represent our club and our region in a fantastic manner who are being tarnished by the few selfish and narcissistic individuals who are tearing down all our community has created as a Club.
“Our players, staff and members, all of whom have contributed so much to what has been a successful season so far, are all wholeheartedly affected by this outcome and as such we now require new methods and renewed support from our faithful members and fans who want to see our teams and our Cub succeed.
“This issue is not isolated to our Club and requires a whole of game response to not just reduce, but eliminate the incidence of flares and anti-social behaviour inside and outside our football matches.
“Those that have brought our Club and our game into disrepute have now forced us to have to introduce some new stricter measures in consultation with the FFA, other clubs, police, venues and security for all of our away matches as well as increasing our attention to home matches to avoid any further negative impact on our Club and our fantastic members.
“We implore all of our members to stand together to ensure we do not receive further sanctions and to assist in fixing this problem for good.”
29th November 2015 - MELBOURNE VICTORY FANS EXIT ETIHAD STADIUM IN FFA PROTEST
30th October 2015 - FFA ANNOUNCES MAJOR CHANGES IN DIGITAL AND FAN ENGAGEMENT
26th September 2015 - WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS REJECT ‘EXCESSIVE’ POLICE PROPOSALS FOR FAN BEHAVIOUR
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