South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Media Release : SMFC condemns actions of Melbourne Victory supporters

Media Release : SMFC condemns actions of Melbourne Victory supporters

South Melbourne FC condemns the actions of a group of Melbourne Victory supporters at its recent NPL Victoria match against SMFC on Sunday 24 April at Lakeside Stadium.

South Melbourne FC prides itself on being a family orientated club and we are dismayed at the threatening actions against our fans and the club as a whole. SMFC had numerous junior players, parents, children, community partners and members of both our senior and junior women’s teams in attendance. There were also elderly SMFC life members who were in the area at the time.

In conjunction with Melbourne Victory, Victoria Police, Football Federation Victoria and the State Sport Centre Trust, South Melbourne FC undertook a major security review prior to the game and put numerous procedures in place that were agreed by all parties.

As part of this, supporters were to enter and be located into specific sections of the venue. South Melbourne fans were to be located in its traditional Bob Jane Grandstand and Victory opposite, coordinated by their supporter marshals and security personnel. These protocols were published online through both clubs’ websites, social media channels and other associated football related media, including FFV.

For the large part of the event, the atmosphere generated by both sets of fans was positive and entertaining. However, early in the second half a small group of Melbourne Victory active supporters infiltrated the South Melbourne supporter stand and proceeded to attack the South fans, as well as attempt to steal numerous items, including fan banners.

In the ensuing minutes, a large portion of the Melbourne Victory fans jumped the fences from their allocated grandstand and violated the restricted area by running across the playing arena to further attack the South fans. The actions that followed included further attempts to steal banners, personal belongings, SMFC TV media equipment and match equipment, including balls and the corner flag. This caused a short stoppage to the game of approximately one minute. At this point, the club also removed its SMFC Ball Boys from the arena due to safety concerns.

This incident was both provocative and violent and has caused distress among many of our key stakeholders, including sponsors, members, general supporters and players of all ages. The club is also aware that some members, including children, received medical attention at the scene and we will continue to support all affected by Sunday’s incident.

We want to specifically praise the actions of our own supporters, who despite the unprovoked attack on them, remained in their allocated section and allowed for security personnel, parents, board, staff and club marshals to de-escalate the situation and ensure that the fans remained safe. By doing so, our supporters continued to cheer on our team for the remainder of the match, which we won 1-0 to maintain our lead at the top of the NPL Victoria table.

The club is working with Victoria Police, State Sports Centre Trust, Melbourne Victory and Football Federation Victoria to gather the relevant evidence, including photos and video supplied by numerous sources, in support of potential criminal charges and infringements against the offenders. The club continues to support a zero tolerance approach on any anti social behaviour and will work with all parties to ensure that relevant action is taken.

The club will be making no further statement at this time and urges its supporters to continue supporting our club and forward any relevant material captured on Sunday to

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