Describing the backlash as ‘confusing’, Football Federation Australia says its decision to restrict substitutions to one player per change will bring long-term improvements to match-day experience – by eliminating the need for stadiums to play more than one walk-out song at a time.
Speaking at the unveiling of a statue at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium commemorating 10 years of football in Australia, FFA spokesperson Clive Umani told journalists the criticism levelled at the organisation was unfair, with detractors failing to consider the football experience of fans who attend live games.
“There’s nothing worse than conflicting music blasting over stadium speakers. Ground announcers have told FFA they struggle to decide which player’s walk-out song needs to be played first when there are multiple substitutions at once, which ultimately impacts how much fans enjoy being at the match.
“I spoke to one mother during the off-season, who said she had to comfort her children as nib Stadium tried to contend with a double substitution by playing two walk-out songs at once. Not the kind of match-day experience we want our fans to have heading into Season 11.”
Mr Umani pleaded with supporters to give FFA time to iron out the kinks.
“We acknowledge those fans whose experience with player walk-out music has been less than stellar.
“By restricting multiple substitutions, not only do we go a long way towards making match-day music a more enjoyable experience, A-League will be brought further in line with sports such as cricket’s Big Bash League, which has the luxury of only having one player enter the arena at a time.”