Senate calls for end to over-policing football fans

Police respond to "exuberant fan behaviour".

The Senate has called on Football Federation Australia and A-League clubs to take action to ensure football fans are not over-policed, AAP said on February 2.

A-League fans, especially from clubs with strong multicultural fan bases such as the Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory, have long complained about over-policing, as well as unfair bans imposed without any right to appeal by the FFA and frequent media demonisation.

Late last year, A-League fans staged a series of walk outs and boycotts to demand fair treatment in what were likely the largest coordinated fan protests in Australian sporting history. In response, the FFA agreed to develop new processes to meet fan demands.

This month is the deadline for the FFA to announce its reforms, which, if they fail to meet fan demands, could spark new protests.

Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm and Labor frontbencher Sam Dastyari won Senate support for the motion on February 2. The motion calling for an accord to ensure "exuberant fan behaviour" was not unreasonably interpreted as anti-social or harmful.

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