Sydney FC has taken the unusual step of criticising security staff at Western United’s GMHBA Stadium after several of its fans were removed from an A-League clash between the two teams on Sunday.
Fans claim that several people from The Cove, Sydney’s active supporter group, were instructed to sit down in the corner of the 36,000-capacity stadium, also known as Kardinia Park, in South Geelong.
Five away supporters were evicted, apparently for anti-social behaviour, and two people were arrested for intoxication, which led to complaints from fans across Twitter and the club labelling the action as “overzealous.”
The Cove is now sitting down because about 1/3 of them have been kicked out for standing up. pic.twitter.com/0CpsPqDqDj
— Tommy Silver (@tommysvr) December 1, 2019
Sydney FC, which won the game 2-0, backed its fans in a statement, claiming that they had been “mistreated”.
The statement read: “Over 200 dedicated supporters travelled to Geelong to support our club at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
“Having investigated the situation and spoken to Sydney FC representatives on the ground, we have been informed of a number of avoidable evictions of our fans by overzealous security who bypassed advice from our Sydney FC supporter marshals.
“Nobody condones anti-social behaviour however we strongly believe the situation could have been handled in a better way.
“To see our fans mistreated is disappointing and we are working with the Hyundai A-League to investigate. We have also spoken to Western United and to the stadium to ask them to review their procedures with regard to supporter treatment.”
Gerard Griffin, the chief executive of the The Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, said the evictions were down to “anti-social behaviour” and added that stadium management worked with Sydney FC representatives, Victoria Police and MA Security throughout the process.
Griffin added: “The priority of the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust is to ensure a safe and enjoyable environment for all fans and anti-social behaviour at any event held at the Stadium will not be tolerated.”