Football 2 years ago

RBB responds to Gallop, vows match boycott

  • RBB responds to Gallop, vows match boycott

Active A-League supporters' groups have united to condemn Football Federation Australia's proposed stadium ban appeals process on the basis that fans should remain innocent until proven guilty.

After a weekend of widespread protests across the round-ball code, head of A-League Damien De Bohun caved to mounting pressure and pledged to open a formal appeals process whereby any spectator who could prove through fresh evidence they had been unjustly banned would have the ban overturned.

But Sydney FC's The Cove branded FFA's peace offering as "medieval", lamenting the model was not ideal because it placed the burden of proof on fans.

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They were joined in their view by Western Sydney's Red and Black Bloc (RBB) and Melbourne Victory's North Terrace, both of whom staged mass walkouts half an hour into their club's respective matches last round.

In a statement on their Facebook page, the RBB said the burden of proof "just as is in the judicial system should be on the FFA, not the other way around".

"Guilty until proven innocent, without access to the so-called evidence that is used to justify the ban is not acceptable," the statement read.

"Show these fans the evidence if you have nothing to hide. Your empty promises have not gone unnoticed."

North Terrace posted their own statement calling on FFA and De Bohun to "fix this mess and implement a fair and transparent appeals system NOW!".

Both shared an identical photo of De Bohun along with a caption referencing what they saw as FFA's contradictory statements over the existence of an appeals process.

"Nov 4th: No right of appeal, Nov 26th: Always been a right of appeal, Nov 29th: As of today, there's a right of appeal," the caption read.

The issue boiled over last week following News Corp Australia's publication of names and photos of 198 banned A-League fans.

What started as anger over a perceived privacy breach turned into a backlash against FFA for what they saw as heavy-handedness and a lack of support.

FFA chief executive David Gallop has called a media conference in Sydney for Tuesday afternoon to address the issue.

After meeting with FFA last week, The Cove will hold further talks on Tuesday and Wednesday with representatives from the SCG Trust's board, senior NSW Police officers and FFA in an attempt to rebuild trust and alter their view of active fans.

The Wanderers will also meet with assistant police commissioner Kyle Stewart.

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