A-League: Referee Chris Beath has controversially not given Sydney FC skipper Alex Brosque a penalty despite what looked like a clear trip inside the box.
UPDATE: The Red and Black Bloc has taken a crude swipe at Football Federation Australia, responding to the strong stance the governing body has taken against a banner widely viewed as offensive.
The Western Sydney Wanderers supporter group has been roundly condemned for a homophobic banner brandished by fans during Saturday night’s Sydney derby, with the FFA foreshadowing a punishment.
But rather than show contrition for the banner following the strong reaction, the RBB has doubled down, attacking the FFA with a Facebook post that was put up on Monday night.
“We find it ironic that it takes the FFA barely 24 hours to respond to a banner deemed ‘offensive’ but take over 12 months to even commence an appeals process agreed upon in December 2015,” the post said.
“Clearly football in this country is in the wrong hands. Football belongs to the people not a dictatorial body or the likes of so called expert commentators.
“The sport doesn’t belong to the FFA, nor does it belong to the likes of Robbie Slater.
“F*** off with your pandering to mainstream media.”
The reference to Fox Sports pundit Slater was in response to this foxsports.com.au column, headlined ‘Wanderers banner yobs a disgrace’.
The banner, depicting a blue-faced man giving oral sex, was put up in the Wanderers’ support area at ANZ Stadium during the second half of the game, won 1-0 by the Wanderers.
It remained aloft in front of the 44,843-strong family-friendly crowd for a number of minutes while security appeared to watch on before it was eventually taken down.
The FFA on Sunday made clear their disgust at the “discriminatory” image depicted and left open the possibility for sanctions against the club or its fans.
“FFA is aware of the unauthorised and totally unacceptable banner that was displayed in the Western Sydney Wanderers area during Saturday night’s Sydney derby at ANZ Stadium,” A-League chief Greg O’Rourke said.
“The discriminatory nature of the tifo has no place in society and will not be tolerated in the A-League.
“We are working with the club and currently gathering as much information as possible and will deal with the matter when we have all available facts including CCTV footage.”
The Wanderers’ active supporter group, the Red and Black Bloc, publicly saluted the banner on Sunday, posting it to its Twitter account alongside a quote from Sydney coach Graham Arnold.
The club itself declined to comment after the game on Saturday night, but confirmed on Sunday it was working with FFA to investigate.
“Due to the inappropriate nature of the item it was swiftly removed by our supporter management team and disposed of,” chief executive John Tsatsimas said in a statement.
“As a club made up of the most diverse and inclusive cross-section of members and fans in Australian sport, we do not condone the imagery depicted in the banner.
“The club remains committed to working with FFA and our stadiums to ensure our matches remain a positive, family-friendly environment.” The Wanderers are sweating on a suspended points deduction, in place until the end of this season as punishment for fan trouble associated with lighting flares.
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