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Australian soccer club fined after fans make Nazi salutes at match

Staff at Sydney United 58 to attend anti-racism training, team threatened with 3-year ban from competing if supporters misbehave in future

The crowd at a soccer game between A-League side Macarthur FC and semi-professional Sydney United 58, Commbank Stadium, Sydney, Australia, October 1, 2022. (YouTube screenshot, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
The crowd at a soccer game between A-League side Macarthur FC and semi-professional Sydney United 58, Commbank Stadium, Sydney, Australia, October 1, 2022. (YouTube screenshot, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

SYDNEY, Australia — Australian soccer bosses said Friday they have fined semi-professional club Sydney United 58 and ordered their staff to undergo anti-racism training after fans made Nazi salutes at last month’s Australia Cup final.

During the October 1 game against Macarthur FC, some Sydney United fans were shown on television making fascist salutes and shouting over a welcome speech by an indigenous representative.

The fans also chanted far-right Croatian songs during the game at CommBank Stadium in Sydney, Australian media reported.

Football Australia said it had issued Sydney United — formerly known as Sydney Croatia — with an AUD$15,000 (US$9,500) fine.

Wielding the threat of further sanctions including a potential three-year ban from the cup, the governing body warned that the club’s fans must behave well in the future.

It ordered Sydney United directors and staff to have training against racism, discrimination, and antisemitism, and to learn about indigenous culture.

Football Australia said two fans had already been issued with life bans.

“We have acted decisively in a manner which reflects our desire to strike this behavior out of Australian football,” said Football Australia chief executive James Johnson.

NSW Jewish Board of Deputies chief executive Darren Bark said the final had featured “some of the ugliest scenes we have seen by spectators at a football game in our country.”

“We hope the sanctions issued to Sydney United will act as a warning to other clubs that racist behavior of any kind will not be tolerated,” Bark said.

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