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'Football is for all': FA react to 'rank fascist bulls--t' that marred Australia Cup final, threaten sanctions for Sydney United

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1st October, 2022
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The football world has reacted swiftly to disturbing scenes that marred Macarthur FC’s Australia Cup final win over Sydney United 58.

NSW National Premier League side United were the first non-A-League side in the tournament’s eight-year history to make it to the final – but the behaviour of their fans has swiftly been condemned.

Supporters could be heard cheering and even booing throughout the pre-match Welcome to Country by Erin Wilkins, with the disrespect slammed on social media.


United’s Cinderella story had led many neutral fans to put their support behind the club leading into the final, but the actions of their fans quickly soured the feelings of goodwill.

Members of the 16,461-strong crowd were also captured performing Nazi salutes and chanting fascist slogans, including singing ‘Za Dom Spremni’ – a Croatian rallying cry associated with the Nazi-affiliated Ustaše movement during World War II.


Ustaše signs were also seen in the crowd at Commbank Stadium.

One banner unveiled at CommBank Stadium bore a striking resemblance to the flag of Nazi Germany.

Largely red, it contained a white circle in the middle, with “EP” – an acronym for the club’s Edensor Park home – written in the circle in black typeface.


The match saw Macarthur claim the title with a 2-0 win, both goals coming from penalties.

Bulls striker Al Hassan Toure, who was born in the African country of Guinea and has Liberian heritage, responded to the crowd’s foul actions with a strong reaction to his first-half penalty to give his side the lead.

Football Australia responded to the controversy on Sunday, releasing a statement condemning the behaviour, but refused to let ‘ the actions of a few cast a shadow over our great game’.

“Last night’s Australia Cup 2022 Final was by and large a celebration, full of colour and with a buoyant atmosphere where most of the 16,461 fans participated in a respectful way and helped create an optimum fan engagement experience,” the statement read.


“However, Football Australia acknowledges and strongly condemns the actions of a small minority of individuals who engaged in behaviour that is not consistent with Football Australia’s values and wider community expectations. 

“Football Australia took steps during the match to address some isolated behaviours by a small minority of individuals, including facilitating the evictions of eight people. 

“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 displaying of the “Hitler salute”. 

“Football Australia is working closely with the management of CommBank Stadium and NSW Police to determine strong and swift action on any identified anti-social behaviour, which may also be deemed as illegal in the state of NSW.   

“Football Australia also acknowledges that the noise level of the crowd during the Welcome to Country performed by Erin Wilkins before the commencement of the game reached unacceptable levels. We regret that this occurred and are reviewing all available footage and audio to further analyse the incident. 

“Football Australia has been in direct communication with Erin Wilkins during and since the match and will continue to receive hers and the Football Australia National Indigenous Advisory Group’s guidance on this matter. 

“As a Reconciliation Action Plan organisation, Football Australia is committed to improving the way we embed and celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture in our game.  Although we have made progress with regards to this, the events of last night highlight the need for further education to be carried out within the broader football community. 


“Football is for all, where there is absolutely no place for anti-social behaviour in our game or the community at large.  

“Football Australia will not let the actions of a few cast a shadow over our great game, which is loved by millions across Australia. 

“Football Australia will be holding discussions with Sydney United 58 FC about the behaviour of certain fans, which could lead to both individual and club sanctions. 

(with AAP)