Western Sydney Wanderers issue open letter to members condemning fan violence

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Warning: Western Sydney Wanderers chief executive John Tsatsimas. Photo: Louise Kennerley Western Sydney Wanderers have issued a statement to their members condemning the violent action by a minority of their fans and vowed to stop troublemakers attending matches.

Wanderers chief executive John Tsatsimas sent a letter to the club’s 18,700 members on Monday reiterating that anti-social behaviour towards opponents and rival fans will be met with severe punishment from the club, FFA and police in the wake of the violence that marred the Sydney derby on Saturday night.

Dozens of fans are facing potential police prosecution and long bans from attending all Australian football games after the FFA confirmed the identity of people involved in either an ugly brawl, throwing flares on the field towards an opposition goalkeeper and one for assaulting a rival player inside the stadium.

A Wanderers fan who was invited into the corporate area is facing a 10-year ban for striking Sydney FC defender Aaron Calver in the face after the full-time whistle.

The incident preceded a violent attack on Sydney FC fans near Parramatta railway station which left two men hospitalised. A few Sydney FC fans were allegedly attacked by a group of up to 30 men wearing black clothing believed to be associated with a Wanderers supporters group.

“As a club it is our job to ensure that we maintain this atmosphere at every match and reaffirm to all our members that anti-social behaviour at any Wanderers matches will never be tolerated,” Tsatsimas said. “This expectation of respecting fellow attendees will never be compromised or diluted by the Western Sydney Wanderers.  It does not matter what colour jersey or t-shirt your fellow attendee is wearing we will strive to ensure that there is no behaviour that compromises your match day experience or the safety of you or your fellow spectators.”

NSW Police are investigating the incident in conjunction with the FFA. It is understood witnesses, victims and officers analysed CCTV footage on Tuesday capturing the alleged assault. Tsatsimas confirmed the club are working to assist in the investigation.

“Our club has dramatically reduced the number of anti-social incidents since our inception and we remain totally committed to working with the authorities, venue and Football Federation Australia to remove any individual who is misplaced in their belief that Pirtek Stadium or any other venue allows them the right to express themselves illegally or in an anti-social manner. Any incidents that arise at any of our home matches will be investigated and serious punishments will be handed down to those involved,” Tsatsimas said.

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