Football Australia has slapped Sydney United 58 with a $15,000 fine along with several suspended sanctions, including up to 40 points deducted, as a result of a minority of fans’ behaviour at the Australia Cup final.
A number of United fans were pictured making highly offensive gestures throughout the match and as well as booing during the Welcome to Country before kick-off.
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The actions stole the headlines from what should have been an extremely special occasion given Sydney United were the first NPL club to make the final of the Australia Cup, although they were defeated 2-0 by Macarthur FC.
In a statement, Football Australia revealed the punishments “took into consideration a range of relevant matters, including the Club’s submissions, the nature and seriousness of the matter, the need to deter such conduct in the future and interests of Football Australia, the Australia Cup, and the football community more broadly.”
As a result, the club was fined $15,000 and face suspended sanctions which include “further fines, significant point deductions in the NPL NSW competition (up to 40 points deducted per sanction) and a suspended participation ban from the Australia Cup in 2023, 2024, and 2025.”
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Those sanctions will be triggered if Sydney United fails to comply with a number of requirements over the next three years.
Football Australia CEO James Johnson stated the punishments in place believes it “sends a clear message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated”.
“Football Australia has run a thorough and considered process involving listening to several different viewpoints and lived experiences,” Johnson said.
“What has strongly resonated is the deep hurt and impact of the actions that do not represent the values and expectations of our game or protect our community.
“The actions of certain groups of people were disrespectful and deeply offensive to the Indigenous Australian and Jewish communities.
“Through our consultation it has once again been evident the leadership role football can play in relation to societal and systemic issues like discrimination.
“As a result, we have acted decisively in a manner which reflects our desire to strike this behaviour out of Australian football.
“The sanctions imposed on Sydney United 58 FC reflect the seriousness with which we have viewed this situation and we believe sends a clear message that this type of behaviour, will not be tolerated.”