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Police crack down on bad behaviour as fan banned for life


Families, children and adults watch last Sunday’s game at Etihad Stadium between Essendon and North Melbourne. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Police crack down on bad behaviour as fan banned for life


An AFL fan who was involved in a brawl at Etihad Stadium last month has been permanently banned from entering the sports venue.

AFL fans are constantly being warned not to indulge in any disorderly and drunken behaviour at the ground after the incident.

AFL football is hugely popular in Australia and a multitude of footy fans passionately back their respective teams each and every season.

The league continues to go from strength to strength, although this latest incident doesn’t look good for the game and its fans.

As a result of the increased precautions being taken by the venues, any AFL fans who want to drink merrily while watching matches would be better off renovating their homes to enjoy the sport with their friends on a big TV screen instead.

It would be much better for them – and everyone else – than getting drunk and losing control at the stadium.

A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND LIFETIME BAN

Victoria Police acting commander David Clayton has warned that the recently observed anti-social behaviour at AFL matches is not at all acceptable. Anyone who gets drunk and/or looks out for a fight at the venue should be prepared to face legal consequences.

Last month, a fight broke out between nine patrons of the Medallion Club after the Western Bulldogs were defeated by Collingwood by 35 points. The fight left three people injured.

Police carried out an investigation and arrested and charged a Carnegie man in his mid-40s with recklessly and intentionally causing injury to another person. He was also charged with resisting police, possessing cocaine and affray.

He later became the first-ever individual to be permanently banned from entering the stadium. Although he was let out on bail, he will appear at the Melbourne Magistrate’s Court in September. A second man was also charged over the same brawl later and faced the possibility of a similar life ban by the venue.

STRINGENT MEASURES

Talking to the press about the incident, Michael Green, the Melbourne stadium’s chief executive said: “The incident that occurred at the Medallion Club [on] Friday night is abhorrent and fundamentally opposite to everything the stadium stands for. We are working closely with Victoria Police to identify those involved. We will take decisive action against anyone breaching the stadium’s condition of entry.

“I can advise today that one person involved on Friday night has been identified and we are currently in the process of communicating to that person that they will be permanently banned from attending events at the stadium in the future.”

Green said that anyone who is banned by the stadium for indulging in anti-social activities will not just be denied entry to AFL matches (for the rest of his/her life) but will also be prohibited from attending any other event at the venue.

The stadium is constantly reviewing its security measures in co-ordination with police. Some of the other ideas being contemplated include reducing the strength of alcohol to be served at the stadium and extension of the “booze-free” bays. Green reminded patrons that the Stadium is totally focused on safety and will not tolerate any behaviour that compromises it in any way.

NOT THE ONLY INCIDENT

All these actions and announcements came after a week of unruly behaviour by sections of AFL crowds, with four violent incidents reported from different venues. One of them included a man being “glassed” in the face at Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium during a Saturday night game between Carlton and the Cats.

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