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Friday, June 02, 2006

Footy Chief Takes a Shot at Soccer Fans

The AFL's top man - CEO Andrew Demetriou - has spoken out against the unruly behaviour of some soccer fans after last week's friendly match between Australia and Greece at the MCG. In Andy's eyes, it's just not on.

"I'm always proud of the way AFL supporters leave the ground after games, particularly the MCG ... we don't have flares," he said.

"Even when I drove out (from the MCG) last night there were people crossing the road and getting in front of cars and I'm not sure why that happens.

"It's very unfortunate and it shouldn't happen really, and it almost casts a bit of a slight on the game (soccer) because otherwise it was a great atmosphere." (The Age, 26/5/2006)

I guess Andrew won't be getting invited to any more spit roasts and souvlaki nights with Melbourne's Greek community - and he's probably going to need security on visits to Lonsdale St or Swan St. But I say good on him for speaking up. Those soccer hooligans should take a page out of the AFL manual and leave the biffo and criminal behaviour to the professionals: the actual players.

That's right, if there's going to be any gang bashing in Federation Square, then the assailants should be at least VFL level players. That way, you'll end up with cleaning staff and bouncers in hospital with smashed-in cheek bones. And the police will have to use capsicum spray to haul them off while they kick unconscious people in the head! Not like those wishy-washy soccer thugs who dispersed after a mere gentle word. Poor souls.

And where are the drug-fuelled rape frenzies from the soccer fans? Bah. Amateurs. No, professional AFL players - "investigated" by their mates in the sex crimes squad - would play them on a break. Yes, indeed. Did any of those nancy-boys amongst the soccer fans manage to slip a mickey into anyone's drink to get a root? No, too busy lighting flares. They must be gay or something!

I'm sure Andrew Demetriou will cop flak for stating the obvious. But honestly, where were the threats to kill passers-by, journalists and relatives? Could those soccer fans even manage to get into a dust-up over a taxi?

What a piss-weak performance. Melbourne's soccer fans should be so disgraced they abstain from causing any trouble and hope their on-field heroes can show up the AFL players when it comes to off-field trouble. After all, with a huge crowd in excess of 95,000 (bettering the past five AFL grand finals), this match showed just how big the appetite is for soccer matches. But the boys are going to have to follow Andy's advice, put away the flares and hope that their beloved prima donna soccer stars can match the AFL when it comes to drugs, bashing and rapes.

Citations: The Age, 26/5/2006

Word Count: 484

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  • Greetings

    I really enjoy yr stuff. Can't say I share yr level of moral outrage, but I don't have any morals. Thanx for putting this info out in the public sphere. You might enjoy my footy column, you can find it at

    From one brilliant unpaid footy columnist to another


    By Blogger Bay4, at 10:50 pm, June 03, 2006  

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  • I have been absolutely suprised yet impressed with the professional, mild-mannered and respectful approach of the Socceroos when interviewed by media or approached by fans. They have been courteous, well-spoken and fully appreciative of their fans. They have not resorted to vulgarity, denegration of the opposition or pig-headedness after each of their triumphs so far in the World Cup. Contrast this to AFL footballers who are boorish, show little respect for their fans and can hardly string a sentence together in plain English when interviewed. The Australian soccer players have not pranced around after their victories in violent abandon nor have they repeatedly cursed on live television knowing all too well that millions of children are watching and worshipping their sporting heroes (ie: Akermanis). The Socceroos earn significantly more than their AFL counterparts yet they seem to be extremely down to earth, approachable and proud to be representing their country. They sing the national anthem with pride and hold their hands to their hearts whilst doing so. To AFL players, the singing of the anthem seems to be a distraction as most are either looking straight at the ground or jumping from side to side as if they are burdened by it.
    Australians can be lucky that we have such fine young men representing us on a truely global stage. No wonder the AFL needs to sling mud.

    By Anonymous Ben Wallace, at 8:58 pm, June 26, 2006  

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  • Yes, Ben, I agree. I think the Socceroos example shows that it's not the huge amounts of money and fame alone that produces arseholes, it's something about the culture itself.

    AFL is sick and needs to be fixed up. The rapes, violence, agro, drug-abuse, and spoilt childish behaviour seem to (by-and-large) be missing in our soccer stars compared with our AFL heroes.

    At the end of the day, you get the footballers you deserve. If enough Aussie Rules fans made it clear that they would not support such atrocious behaviour, the players would change their ways because their clubs would make them.

    For example, if a player pisses on women at a bar, then the fans need to signal that they will stop attending matches if he's not suspended. Sadly, I can't see this happening, since most Australians are of the view that being good at footy cancels any number of sins.

    By Blogger Greg, at 9:42 pm, June 26, 2006  

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