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  02 Oct 2022, 13:40

Australian football vows to punish Nazi salutes at final

SYDNEY, Oct 2, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - Soccer bosses vowed on Sunday to act swiftly
against fans accused of making Nazi salutes and shouting over an Indigenous
welcoming ceremony at the Australia Cup final, prompting widespread outrage.

Fans at the game between A-League side Macarthur FC and semi-professional
Sydney United 58 on Saturday were also heard chanting far-right Croatian
songs, newspapers reported.

Football Australia said it "strongly condemns" what it described as a small
minority of the 16,461 spectators during Macarthur's 2-0 win over the team
formerly known as Sydney Croatia.

Eight people were evicted from western Sydney's CommBank Stadium, it said.

"Football Australia is today assessing all footage and images available of
certain individuals which are of concern to our organisation and the broader
Australian football community, including the display of the 'Hitler salute',"
the governing body said.

It said they were working with police and the stadium to determine "strong
and swift action" against offenders, warning some fan behaviour may be
illegal under New South Wales state law.

The governing body also acknowledged "unacceptable" crowd noise during a
"welcome to country" ceremony acknowledging Indigenous people's link to the
land.

Jewish community representatives condemned those who made Nazi salutes.

"These vile salutes have no place in modern Australian society and we call on
Football Australia to take immediate action against the perpetrators," the
New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies said in a statement.

Players also demanded action.

On the pitch, the game is about fairness, respect and courage, Professional
Footballers Australia said in a statement.

"Unfortunately, in the stands these values were shattered," they said.

The players called on the authorities to respond.

"An effective response will not be developed by focusing on whether or not
these actions were inflicted by a minority," the players' association said.

"The key matter the game must address is the impact it has had on people in
our community."

Players promised to engage with anyone that was "targeted -- and rightly
distressed -- by alleged fascist chanting and gestures".

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