Friday , June 2 2023

Club punished for ‘deeply offensive’ salutes

Football Australia (FA) has sanctioned Sydney United 58 FC following a series of ugly incidents at last month’s Australia Cup final at CommBank Stadium in Sydney.

The club has been hit with a $15,000 fine after parts of the 16,461 fans in attendance marred the Welcome to Country ceremony with boos and chants, while the coverage showed some performing a Nazi salute.

The sanction imposed are in addition to the several stadium evictions on the night of the Australia Cup final and the subsequent life bans that were issued to two individuals.

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In a statement released on Friday, FA said it would use the fine to further invest in education, training and materials related to anti-discrimination and cultural competency within the Australian football community.

In addition to the immediate financial sanction, Sydney United 58 has also been issued with several suspended sanctions. These include further fines, significant point deductions in the NSW National Premier League competition – up to 40 points deducted per sanction – and a suspended participation ban from the Australia Cup in 2023, 2024 and 2025.

However, these suspended sanctions will only be triggered if Sydney United 58 fails to comply with specific requirements over the next three years.

These relate to undertaking volunteer work, participation in education and training and the implementation of cultural initiatives at the club.

“The actions of certain groups of people were disrespectful and deeply offensive to the indigenous Australian and Jewish communities,” FA boss James Johnson said.

“Through our consultation it has once again been evident the leadership role football can play in relation to societal and systemic issues like discrimination.”

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