More spectators banned following pitch invasion

Football Australia has issued eight more bans to spectators involved in the violent pitch invasion during the A-League’s Melbourne derby on Saturday night.

Assisted by Victoria Police, Football Australia has issued eight people with bans applying to all related football activity, bringing the total banned so far to 10. The bans range between five to 20 years and are effective immediately.

The eight spectators, stretching between 18 to 28 years of age, were sanctioned for several violations on account of their actions.

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These included entering the field of play without authorization, engaging in conduct that did or was likely to cause harm or endanger others, engaging in conduct that did or was likely to cause unlawful damage to the venue or the various forms of infrastructure within the venue , and throwing a projective and/or missile in a dangerous manner.

An 18-year-old Alphington man and a 21-year-old Northcote man both received 20-year bans after being found guilty of unlawful assault amongst other offences.

A 23-year-old Wollert man obtained a 15-year ban for acting violently and causing criminal damage.

A further four men and one woman were also handed five-year bans for entering a competition space, disrupting a match, acting as a public nuisance and displaying riotous behavior.

Football Australia CEO James Johnson reinforced the governing body’s intolerance to such behavior at its sanctioned events.

“As promised to the Australian football community of over two million participants and the wider public, Football Australia has taken swift and decisive action against those who have brought our game into disrepute by their conduct during the Melbourne Derby, and we will continue to do so as part of our ongoing investigation,” he said in a statement on Thursday.

“Football is a beautiful game, it brings together people like no other sport can, and we will not let the actions of these non-football fans cast a dark cloud over the game we love.

“Football Australia will continue to work with Victoria Police and the venue to identify other guilty parties and rid our game of such people. We ask our community to make any reports to Crime Stoppers.”

On Tuesday, a 23-year-old man from Craigieburn and a 19-year-old man from Meadow Heights were also issued with bans.

As a result, those disciplined will not be allowed to attend any Football Australia-sanctioned match, including A-Leagues, Australia Cup, National Premier League and National Team games, nor register as a football participant.

In a statement, Football Australia also revealed that four supporters on Football Australia or the APL’s ban lists were denied entry into the match between Melbourne City and Melbourne Victory.

“It’s pleasing to hear that current procedures around stopping those on ban lists from entering venues on match days are working but we know more needs to be done in this area, and this will be a focus for Football Australia in our ongoing conversations with the Australian Professional Leagues, clubs and venue operators,” Johnson said.

Football Australia confirmed on Wednesday that Victory had submitted a reply to the show-cause notice issued to the club earlier in the week.

With no clear understanding of if, or how, the club will be punished, an update on proceedings will be provided by the governing body on Friday.

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