The A-League’s most rowdy supporters will now be cordoned off into special designated areas in what looks to be a hooligan crackdown by Football Federation Australia (FFA).
A-League boss Damien de Bohun on Monday announced new protocols to address the competition’s “unique” crowd atmosphere to ensure a safe and family-friendly environment would be maintained at live venues.
The key component of the new measures is a membership only area for all “Home Club Active Supporter Areas” for the upcoming A-League 2014-15 season.
This means that all fans within the designated areas – likely to be the most vocal and rowdy – will need to have a valid season membership pass or shorter-term active area pass.
It’s hoped the move will also help boost membership numbers across all clubs.
The bad news for those looking to light up a flare or damage stadium property is that season passes can be revoked if one finds themselves on the wrong side of the law.
However de Bohun said the measures would hopefully result in a reduction of police around stadiums.
“From our discussions with the various fan groups and other stakeholders around the competition, there is a common desire to see a reduction of the presence of police and security at football matches, in particular around active supporter areas,” he said.
“We believe that the successful implementation of these new conditions will go a long way towards reaching that common goal.”
FFA added there may be additional ticketing measures for “Away Club Active Supporter Areas”, particularly for matches where it is anticipated there will be a high number of away club supporters in attendance.