Op-Ed: On The Recent Plight On Western Sydney Wanderers’ Supporters

Wanderers fans in the crowd let off flares as police officers look on during the round 18 A-League match between the Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers at Etihad Stadium on February 6, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. February 06, 2016| Credit: Scott Barbour
Op-Ed: On The Recent Plight On Western Sydney Wanderers’ Supporters

How difficult is it for the supporters’ of Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers to abide by these four simple words? Stay out of trouble. Such is the desire of the Red and Black Bloc to challenge the system and push the envelope in terms of supporting their respective clubs in Australia. Just this week, Australian Four Four Two reported that the club have been given a show cause notice.

FFA CEO David Gallop was distraught at the actions of the group of supporters, whom he claimed tarnished not just the Wanderers but all ten clubs in the league and the sport of football itself.

“FFA has received detailed reports from all stakeholders and has asked the Western Sydney Wanderers to show cause why they should not face sanctions for the behaviour of a group of fans on Saturday night,” Gallop said. “This behaviour has clearly alarmed many people inside and outside the game. It simply cannot be tolerated.

Gallop added: “It is especially disappointing that it has happened at a time when we are working collectively to implement security and banning processes to rid of our game of this type of behaviour for the benefit of football and the true football fans who are tainted by these actions.

“That is an unfortunate but very real consequence of this behaviour and it underlines the damage that these troublemakers cause.  We have noted the statements made by the Western Sydney Wanderers in relation to the misconduct and the damage the behaviour is doing to the game.”

This is massive news because now the Wanderers face the possibility of losing points and risking financial penalties  under the FFA Code of Conduct. As a Melbourne Victory supporter I am pleased that the FFA is going after the club and not just the fans for reversing all the progress that the A-League is making to be squeaky-clean in its image.

There is no doubt that the glory days of Western Sydney being a fairytale story are long gone. May the Wanderers face the music and their fans realize that while the rest of the league is moving forward in terms of positive fan supports, Western Sydney elect to remain in reverse. Come on, Football Federation Australia. Come on, David Gallop. Let the Red and Black Bloc pay dearly for bringing Australian club soccer into disrepute at the Docklands in Melbourne. It is destiny.

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Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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