‘Disgusted’ – Australia Cup final soured by shocking fan behaviour as several supporters evicted

A historic Australia Cup final between Sydney United and Macarthur on Saturday night was overshadowed by some deplorable fan behaviour. 

Even before kick-off, supporters at CommBank Stadium were slammed on social media after boos could be heard ringing out during the Welcome to Country. 

If that wasn’t bad enough, once the game got underway a number of fans were spotted performing what appeared to be Nazi salutes in the stands. 

At one point, a section of Sydney United fans could also be heard singing ‘Za Dom Spremni’ which was a chant used in Croatia by the far right Ustase movement in the 1930s and 1940s. 

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Macarthur would go on to win the match 2-0 courtesy of penalties from Al Hassan Toure and Ulises Davila with Football Australia (FA) confirming after the game that eight fans were evicted from the stadium due to bad behaviour. 

In a follow-up statement released on Sunday afternoon, FA revealed they are continuing to investigate the matter and have reached out to Erin Wilkins, who conducted the Welcome to Country.

“Football Australia took steps during the match to address some isolated behaviours by a small minority of individuals, including facilitating the evictions of eight people,” an FA statement.

“Football Australia is today assessing all footage and images available of certain individuals which are of concern to our organisation and the broader Australian football community, including the displaying of the “Hitler salute”. 

“Football Australia is working closely with the management of CommBank Stadium and NSW Police to determine strong and swift action on any identified anti-social behaviour, which may also be deemed as illegal in the state of NSW.   

“Football Australia also acknowledges that the noise level of the crowd during the Welcome to Country performed by Erin Wilkins before the commencement of the game reached unacceptable levels. We regret that this occurred and are reviewing all available footage and audio to further analyse the incident. 

“Football Australia has been in direct communication with Erin Wilkins during and since the match and will continue to receive hers and the Football Australia National Indigenous Advisory Group’s guidance on this matter. 

“As a Reconciliation Action Plan organisation, Football Australia is committed to improving the way we embed and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in our game.  Although we have made progress with regards to this, the events of last night highlight the need for further education to be carried out within the broader football community. 

“Football is for all, where there is absolutely no place for anti-social behaviour in our game or the community at large. Football Australia will not let the actions of a few cast a shadow over our great game, which is loved by millions across Australia.

“Football Australia will be holding discussions with Sydney United 58 FC about the behaviour of certain fans, which could lead to both individual and club sanctions.”

Social media users were left appalled by what they saw from some supporters at the match as they called for better during what should have been a significant moment for Australian football with a club outside of the A-League competing in the final for the first time. 

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