Gallop hoping fan boycotts are over

Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop. Photo: AFP PHOTO / Peter PARKS
Football Federation Australia chief executive David Gallop. Photo: AFP PHOTO / Peter PARKS

FOOTBALL Federation Australia boss David Gallop says he hopes an in-principle agreement reached with supporters groups will see "the terraces full again this weekend".

Fans have walked out of some recent matches after 30 minutes, or stayed away in their thousands in protest at the names of 198 banned fans being published in a Sydney newspaper, and also at what they said was the lack of a satisfactory appeals process for those supporters who had been given their marching orders.

But fan groups reacted to news of the agreement yesterday by saying the boycotts would be temporarily suspended. "There has also been an unequivocal commitment by the FFA to defend football and its fans," a statement appearing on all fan group Facebook pages read.

"The FFA have also committed to providing active supporter groups with details of arrangements it has with third-party security service providers."

The agreement includes a change to the banning process, which means instead of fans being issued with a "ban" notice, they will be issued with an "intention to ban" notice and will be allowed to see the evidence against them.

The FFA has also committed to set up an independent appeals process.

Apart from suspending the boycotts, the fan groups' statement also said if the FFA failed to deliver on the points outlined in the agreement by February 19 next year, the groups would take "all necessary steps to hold it accountable".

- APN SPORTS BUREAU



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