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Football Federation Australia to crack down on Melbourne Victory supporters over flares

Melbourne Victory face a tough crackdown from Football Federation Australia after fans ripped flares and caused disturbances both inside and outside AAMI Park on Saturday night before the derby against Melbourne City.

Victory supporters also threw bottles and missiles at City goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen and a police officer during the heated match, which featured a controversial "goal" that was not given in Victory's favour. 

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Fines, points deductions and other potential sanctions could be levied at the champions, whose fans have previously caused problems with flares.

The game ended in a 2-2 draw, neither Sorensen nor the policeman receiving any injuries from the projectiles.

The club opted to remain tight-lipped on Sunday until it hears from the FFA.

But Victory coach Kevin Muscat had made it clear what his view of the fans who blacken the club's name is.


"Stay away and don't come back " was his clear message to the idiots who once again cast the sport in a negative light following the adverse publicity generated by flare-throwing Western Sydney fans the previous week. 

"From what I did see, it's not acceptable. In light of what we have seen in the last week those individuals shouldn't come to our games any more, it's as simple as that.  

"I sense the reaction more so from the rest of the crowd, the rest of the people in the stadium, they are fed up with individuals with their mindless acts. It's about time we grew up."

Western Sydney Wanderers fans last week caused Victory's game with the visitors to be halted for more than a minute after smoke wreathed Etihad Stadium and a series of detonators were let off by the travelling supporters

The champions are likely to receive a show-cause notice from the game's governing body on Monday afternoon, asking why they should not be sanctioned for the behaviour of their supporters. 

The FFA did the same to the Western Sydney Wanderers last week and came down hard, fining the club $50,000 and hitting them with a suspended points deduction penalty.

What has angered everyone is the sheer effrontery of supporters to commit such actions so quickly after the Wanderers incident, and the fact that they occurred both inside and outside the ground. While only two were let off inside the ground – generating a chorus of boos and criticism from the vast majority of the Victory fans – a further seven were reported to have been ripped in the vicinity of the ground.

A TV crew was also attacked, according to reports, and there were 20 evictions from the stadium.

Victoria Police had warned, in the lead-up to the game, that if fans continue to cause trouble they would shut down games.

Victory fans took to social media to defend the majority of supporters, saying they did not want the miscreants either, but the sad fact is that the law-abiding supporters, the players, club and coaching staff are the ones likely to suffer from the FFA sanction.

The FFA will almost certainly follow the course they did with West Sydney last week and issue a "show-cause" notice to Victory asking the club why they should not be sanctioned.

"We are gathering information from Victoria Police and others on the incidents that occurred before and during last night's A-League match at AAMI Park in Melbourne," said FFA CEO David Gallop in a statement issued on Sunday.

"In particular, we are deeply concerned by the ignition of flares inside and outside the stadium by people identified as Melbourne Victory supporters.

"Given the circumstances we found ourselves in after last week's incidents involving a section of Western Sydney Wanderers supporters at Etihad Stadium, it's staggering that some Victory fans chose to act in this way. The spotlight could not have been more on fan behaviour.

"We expect to be able to announce the next steps in relation to these incidents tomorrow [Monday]. It is worth noting they have cast a shadow over what was a fabulous game of football. Clearly, we would prefer to be talking about a pulsating 2-2 contest that was an exciting exhibition of our players' skills and the closeness of our competition."