A-League: Victory awaiting sanctions from Football Australia

Sydney FC’s Slovakian star Robert Mak says Melbourne Victory should be forced to play home matches in empty stadiums if that’s what required to stop their fans causing problems at A-League matches.

Football Australia is set to announce on Friday sanctions against the Victory after supporters from the club invaded the pitch and assaulted Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover, referee Alex King and a television cameraman after 20 minutes of last Saturday’s Melbourne derby at AAMI Park.

Ten of the invaders have been banned from all aspect of Australian football, two for life.

Sanctions against the Victory could include a points deduction, significant fines and being forced to play home matches without any supporters in attendance.

Mak was no stranger to crowd violence during several seasons in Greece, and backed the possibility of the Victory hosting matches in empty stadiums.

“It was normal there (in Greece) and we played without fans,” Mak said.
“That was the punishment if the fans could not control themselves.

“Of course you play football for the fans. You don’t like to play with empty stands … but if fans want to do these things, they will do it anyhow. They shouldn’t be allowed in football.

“It happens in so many countries, it’s happened here and hopefully it will not happen ever again.

“If you don’t speak about (serious punishments) then it will happen again next week. It will (keep) happening.”

Melbourne City captain Scott Jamieson said forcing the Victory to play in empty stadiums was a “challenging situation”.

“You need to punish the behaviour – I don’t have the answers,” Jamieson told Melbourne radio station RSN.

“The people in the A-League … have the intention of making a safe and enjoyable environment. Our players and staff want to make it an enjoyable experience.

“We have to understand that those people involved don’t have the game at heart. It’s not a true reflection of the game.

“We can’t forget these people, but we need to erase these people. They need to be hung out to dry by the police, and the authorities.

“We need to make it very clear they are not a part of our game. Although they were in the Victory fans’ active area, I don’t know if they are members.

“The less we give them airtime now the better. Quite frankly they don’t deserve our words and our energy.

“As players, fans and administrators, we have to really try to come together and work our way out of this.”

Jamieson was unsure whether Glove, who required stitches in a cut to his face after being hit with a bucket, would play in City’s clash against Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday at AAMI Park.

“He has to jump through a few hoops but was on the (training) pitch doing some light things,” Jamieson said.

“Tom is a knockabout lad and sometimes too honest for his own good. He’s in good spirits, on the outside. I’m sure he’s felt a few things internally.

“(He’s) a good young man that is only honest and tries his best, and was caught up in the wrong situation.”

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