Western Sydney Wanderers were “found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute” by Football Federation Australia.
In a release the FFA announced the Wanderers were fined $50,000 and imposed a suspended three (3) competition point deduction after finding the club guilty of bringing the game into disrepute following the misconduct of some of its supporters last Saturday.
“Wanderers fans took part in a pre-meditated and coordinated series of incidents including the ignition of flares and detonators and the display of unauthorised banners,” the FFA statement said.
The FFA said if they find any future “serious incident” occurs, the club must lose three points “immediately”.
“This will apply to incidents that occur in or around any matches the club participates in and will be in place for a period of 12 months, through to February 6 2017.’’
“The events of last Saturday night and the coordinated misconduct of a section of Western Sydney Wanderers fans cannot be tolerated by anyone in Australian football,” said FFA CEO David Gallop.
“The misconduct was not only dangerous and threatening but the coordinated and calculated way the fans behaved was a serious blight on the reputation of football and everyone involved in our game including clubs, members, fans, players and officials.
“The sanctions have been set taking into consideration the seriousness of the incidents but a clear commitment both publicly and through its submission that the Wanderers will take responsibility for implementing a clear strategy to identify and exclude these individuals.
“The Western Sydney Wanderers and the vast majority of Wanderers fans have expressed their disdain at the behaviour of the perpetrators on Saturday night and must now work together to rid their club of these troublemakers who threaten the huge support the club has brought to the competition. While the club has put a number of measures in place it goes without saying that more needs to be done.
“The timing of the incident was frustrating for everyone who has been working collectively on a new banning process to deal with the type of behaviour that was on show last Saturday night.”
FFA has also announced it will be formulating a National Flare Management Policy, which will be part of the Fan Banning Process review to be considered by the FFA Board next week.
“The use of flares and associated devices at sporting events are extremely dangerous, illegal and have no place in Australian football,” Gallop said. “We are putting a line in the sand. If these people are true football fans they will understand and appreciate their actions will hurt the clubs they claim to support.”