Wanderers crowd behaviour in spotlight again

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Investigations are continuing into the anti-social behaviour of supporters after 18 people were ejected, three people were charged, and two people were issued with banning notices, at last night’s Sydney Derby between Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers.

A huge police presence was visible at the game with more than 40,000 people in attendance to watch the highly anticipated game.

Police say that prior to the match, between 50 and 60 Western Sydney Wanderers supporters broke away from a marching group and ran towards a group of Sydney FC supporters, before a physical altercation took place between the two groups.

Tactical officers responded and were forced to use capsicum spray and physically restrain a number of supporters. The behaviour continued for approximately 10 minutes requiring the deployment of police from the Mounted Unit, Surry Hills, Redfern, Sydney City and Kings Cross Local Area Commands.

Following the altercation, police located a number of large bolts that are suspected to have been or were intended to be used as missiles, as well as a hammer, and a flare.

A total of 12 flares were also ignited outside the grounds by supporters from both teams prior to the match, during the march towards the stadium, with officers arresting a man and issuing a Field Court Attendance Notice for possessing a flare.

Nine more flares and four smoke bombs were ignited within the Western Sydney Wanderers supporters area in the stadium, prior to and during the game.

A further man was arrested and issued a Field Court Attendance Notice for throwing a missile, after allegedly throwing a bottle from the Sydney FC supporters section.

About 8.25pm, during the match, a pitch invader was arrested by security staff entering the grounds from the Western Sydney Wanderers supporter section. She was issued a Field Court Attendance Notice and banning notice, before being ejected.

During the match, two other people were evicted for offensive behaviour, and eight other patrons were ejected for intoxication.

Towards the end of the game a fight broke out between two men within the Western Sydney Wanderers supporters section, resulting in both men being evicted for inciting violence.

Also towards the end of the match supporters from the Sydney FC fan section enter the playing arena. They were returned to the supporters section by security. Investigations are continuing in order to identify the men, so that further action can be taken.

Following the match, police reinforcements were called, including tactical officers from South West metro region and Police Transport Command to prevent further violence.

A man from within a group of Sydney FC supporters was arrested for an alleged assault, and was issued a Field Court Attendance Notice for assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Police were required to break-up an altercation between two groups of supporters on Foveaux Street, following the match.

A large amount of damage was caused to seats and railings within both fan sections at both ends of the stadium. Approximately 50 chairs and a number of steel railings were broken or severed within the Western Sydney Wanderers fan section.

Investigations into the incidents will continue with police reviewing CCTV footage.

Central Metropolitan Region Commander, Acting Assistant Commissioner, Tony Crandell, described the behaviour of fans as unacceptable and said violent and anti-social behaviour was a particular problem at this event.

“Police and the community as a whole want matches like last night’s soccer match to be a family-friendly affair,” he said.

“The behaviour of some of the supporters last night, in particular from the Western Sydney Wanderers supporters section prevented those who want to watch the match from enjoying themselves.

“Last night the safety of the public, staff, and police were put at risk by people who have no respect for the sport.

“The people involved in the incidents are not your ordinary sporting spectators. It is evident that some supporters came prepared to cause injury and ruin the night for others.

“The aspect of enhancing atmosphere unfortunately comes at the expense of public safety and common decency, which is clearly not acceptable.

“Police will continue to investigate incidents from last night’s match and will prosecute those who broke the law.”

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