Wanderers ban club members for homophobic banner
Feb23

Wanderers ban club members for homophobic banner

LAST UPDATED // Thursday, 23 February 2017 15:42 Written by // Cec Busby

Western Sydney Wanderers have banned 14 members of the club’s controversial supporter group, the Red and Black Bloc, after they unfurled an offensive and homophobic banner during the Sydney Derby match against Sydney FC.

The lewd banner depicted a likeness of Sydney FC Coach Graham Arnold performing a sex act and has been widely condemned for its homophobic messaging.

The club’s move to sanction fans follows condemnation from Football Federation Australia (FFA), whose chief, Greg O'Rourke, suggested the “discriminatory nature of the tifo has no place in society and will not be tolerated in the A-League”.

The Wanderers have banned the offenders, who incude a number of key leaders of the Red and Black Bloc from games for the next 18-months. Those involved must also undertake a social inclusion program approved by the club before they will be allowed to attend any further Wanderers’ matches.

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[image] The offensive TIFO.

Despite the strong action from the club, The Wanderers are still likely to be sanctioned by the FFA.

The embattled team already faces a 3-point penalty for fan infractions at previous games. The FFA is yet to rule on whether the club will be fined or lose competition points for the latest incident.

Sydney Rangers Football Club president Joseph Roppolo who had called for the club to deliver a one-year ban to the fans who had perpetrated the act, told SX he welcomed the news that Western Sydney Wanderers have banned 14 fans from the RBB for their part in the display of a homophobic banner.

"We are encouraged that the Wanderers will also require the 14 involved to undertake a social inclusion program before their bans can be lifted. Sydney Rangers FC are committed to working proactively with the FFA and the A-League clubs to be involved in this inclusion program and work to help address the issues surrounding homophobia in football," Roppolo said.

"Our offer to invite the Red & Black Brigade leadership and to the recently banned RBB fans for a beer to help them understand the effect their banner had on the LGBT community is still open."

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Cec Busby

Cec Busby

Cec Busby is the news editor of SX and online editor of GayNewsNetwork.com.au

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