Hyundai A-League supporters breathed a sigh of relief Monday night as reports emerged that a journalist was killed during one of the weekend’s semi-final games before he had a chance to write about the crowd violence he witnessed.
23-year-old supporter Kyle Burnett told FMF that while the slaying of the journalist, who was struck in the head by a bottle just before full-time, had been well-received across social media, it wasn’t enough to prevent other articles about violence being published.
“To be honest we were worried we were never gonna get him – we’d been trying to nail him with bottles all night but they kept missing him and hitting his kids,” Kyle said. “Sadly it’s a hollow victory, since articles about violence and unruly fans have already started appearing.”
“It’s up to every supporter to remain vigilant and protect other fans. If you see violence happening near you, look around for anyone writing about it and make sure they’re unable to do so.”
Football Federation Australia released a statement Monday praised the behaviour of the fans who attended the weekend’s matches, stating the number of articles about crowd violence are currently at their lowest since the A-League’s inception.
“We want to congratulate A-League fans for their conduct over the weekend – those who survived have reported nothing but positive behaviour from all four sets of fans.
“While there will always be a small minority who seek to damage the game’s image with their reckless reporting, the majority will always step up to make sure football is seen in the best light possible.”
This statement was later amended to read, “We want to congratulate a majority of A-League fans…” a few hours later.