Melbourne Victory have been fined by Football Australia, following incidents of homophobia during an A-League match earlier this month. Fans identified will be banned from future matches.
The reprimand against Melbourne Victory is related to "an incident involving a small contingent of its supporters" who directed homophonic remarks to Adelaide defender Josh Cavallo during this month's A-League Men's Victory match against United.
Melbourne Victory sanctioning
- The $5000 fine was issued after an incidence of homophobia during the club's A-League match against Adelaide United earlier this month.
- The abuse were originally brought to light by United player Josh Cavallo
- Fans already identified and who will be identified as having engaged in the behaviour will be banned from attending future matches.
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Football Australia's sanctioning of Melbourne Victory was done after the FA considered the A-League club's response to a Show Cause Notice issued earlier this month. The Notice was sent to Melbourne Victory on January 15, 2022 following the incident.
When reaching their decision, made under the National Code of Conduct and Ethics, Football Australia evaluated the measures taken by Victory following both the homophobic abuse and the issuance of the Notice.
They looked at the club's statements, Victory's commitment to LGBTQ+ awareness, their work with their supporters, the help of Victory fans to identify those who directed the homophobic abuse and the club's commitment to ban those identified abusive supporters from future matches.
“We look at all incidents on a case-by-case basis and take into consideration the totality of the situation and behaviours, stated Football Australia's Chief Executive Officer James Johnson.
"This is not a situation where the Club has been sitting on its hands.
"The Club provided a detailed submission, and it has taken a strong stance against anti-social behaviour – both by its actions before and after this incident.”
“We have tens of thousands of spectators attend football stadiums each week in our season.
"This is a case of a small number of individuals acting in a way that does not reflect the values of our sport.
"To be clear, the actions of the spectators responsible for using homophobic slurs against Josh Cavallo were completely unacceptable.
“While we have noted and were pleased with the positive measures undertaken by Melbourne Victory, a sanction reflects the fact clubs are ultimately responsible for the actions of spectators."
Melbourne Victory did remove some abusive fans during the match. The club, the Australian Professional Leagues and the FA will work together to ban these individuals and any other identified individuals from future matches in Australia.
While Football Australia stated they support the measures taken by Victory, the FA ultimately chose to fine the Melbourne club $5000. The money will be used by Football Australia to further invest in LGBTQ+ awareness and education initiatives in football.
Neither Melbourne Victory of Joshua Cavallo have responded to the conclusion of Football Australia's investigation and sanction.
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