Western Sydney Wanderers’ chief executive Lyall Gorman is urging soccer authorities to enforce a zero tolerance approach to the hooliganism which has tarnished the A-League pre-season.


Following the crowd violence which led to two men being slugged with five-year bans from Football Federation Australia (FFA)-authorised matches, Gorman said enough was enough and it was time to eradicate the minority of troublemakers from the code.

FFA announced on Thursday that the men breached the federation’s Code of Behaviour at recent trial matches in Sydney.

The first man was identified as having activated a flare at a trial match between Sydney FC and the Macarthur Rams at Campbelltown Stadium on August 14, which sparked an ugly brawl and led to a child being hit by a rock.

On Wednesday night, a firework was thrown into a crowd at the Wanderers’ trial match against Sydney United.

That incident led to United fans clashing with police who were forced to use pepper spray to subdue the unruly mob at Edensor Park.

Gorman says the only way to rid soccer of this ugly image is to adopt a united, zero tolerance approach.

“There’s an absolute united resolve to remove this anti-social behaviour from our game,” Gorman told AAP. “And absolute resolve for zero tolerance for it in any football arena in Australia.

“(There is) an absolute commitment to working together as stakeholders to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of fans across Australia who love our game and want to support their team in a safe, fun-filled environment can continue to do so without these sort of hooligans coming in and disrupting it.”

Gorman praised outgoing FFA chief executive Ben Buckley’s swift action in dealing with the two people identified as sparking the ugly scenes in this month’s trial matches. And he said the troublesome rebel supporter groups, who bear no association with either the Wanderers or Sydney FC, were not welcome at A-League games.

“We’ve got to get this type of message across: If you want to come around and mess in our environment, you’ll be removed from it,” Gorman added. “It won’t be tolerated.

“This is an absolute minority of people and we cannot give these people the power to interrupt all the good people who want to be at the game. “We’ll identify and we’ll get rid of them.”

The ban will apply to all matches under the authority of FFA, including the A-League, W-League and national team matches played in Australia.

“The troublemakers who bring the game into disrepute with their reckless behaviour have no place in the game,” Buckley said.

Gorman said the recent events, while frustrating, would work in the code’s favour in the future. “It is frustrating – of course it is. But what it does is tighten your resolve,” Gorman said.

Gorman confirmed that a “Harmony Round” to be played between Sydney FC and the Wanderers would be discussed by the two clubs and their respective supporter groups.