United face music over soccer crowd brawl - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

United face music over soccer crowd brawl

By Guy Hand 22/12/2002 09:55:37 PM Comments (0)

Soccer Australia is set to throw the book at NSL club Sydney United after a violent brawl left at least three people injured during its 4-1 defeat by Newcastle United on Friday night.

United fans were believed responsible for disturbances at EnergyAustralia Stadium which delayed the game for 10 minutes, left one man with a suspected broken jaw and two security guards with minor injuries.

Up to 20 flares and firecrackers were discharged among visiting fans after Newcastle made the game safe in the 53rd minute with its third goal, with a brawl breaking out as security guards moved in.

It provided an ill-timed hangover for Australian soccer to break the celebratory mood following FIFA's midweek decision to grant Oceania direct qualification for the 2006 World Cup finals.

New Soccer Australia chairman Remo Nogarotto, who was at the match, foreshadowed tough action against both Sydney United and the individual offenders.

"After two days of positive press in Madrid, Australia is once again consigned to the backwaters of Australian sport," he said.

"The behaviour was uncivilised, bordering on barbaric.

"Sydney United has to police its own fans.

"Regrettably, the incident will be the subject of a police report and the club could be subject to a massive fine."

A SA spokesman said it was likely to take action later this week after obtaining reports from police and security officials would be interviewed, while it was also trying to obtain video of the crowd disturbances to identify those responsible.

"We'll be viewing the tapes of the incidents and waiting until we get all the various reports before we can act to identify the offenders," he said.

Newcastle moved into third place with the win, behind runaway league leaders Olympic Sharks and Perth Glory.

The Sharks extended their lead to four points with a 3-0 win over Marconi on Friday night.

Not even the presence of former Marconi junior turned world soccer superstar Christian Vieri in the crowd could lift the Stallions off the bottom of the ladder.

Perth stayed second - eight points clear of Newcastle and South Melbourne - with a 1-1 draw away to Brisbane Strikers on Saturday night.

Adelaide City Force hopes to name its new coach in the next three days following Charley Villani's shock resignation on Thursday.

The coachless Force was unlucky to lose 4-3 to the Melbourne Knights at Knights Stadium tonight, after leading 2-0 early and being the better side for most of the match.

The Knights moved into the top six with the victory.

In the other game, Parramatta Power beat Wollongong 1-0 at Parramatta Stadium tonight, with midfielder Brad Maloney scoring the decider in the 55th minute.

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