Aussie Rules Says Sorry To Fans For Stadium 'behaviour' Surveillance

Aussie rules says sorry to fans for stadium 'behaviour' surveillance

The Australian Football League apologised to fans Tuesday amid angry complaints about overzealous "behavioural awareness officers" patrolling the crowds and rebuking boisterous fans

Sydney, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - APP - 18th Jun, 2019 ) :The Australian Football League apologised to fans Tuesday amid angry complaints about overzealous "behavioural awareness officers" patrolling the crowds and rebuking boisterous fans.

AFL chief Gillon McLachlan said he was sorry fans felt security guards -- some with the Orwellian-sounding titles printed on their vests -- had "impinged" on their fun.

Last weekend saw a spate of complaints about the "behavioural awareness officers" at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne, prompting some uncharitable comparisons to notorious secret police services past and present.

AFL Fans Association president Gerry Eeman said: "some fans are telling us that they feel they can't express themselves at games in the same way they did in the past".

One Carlton fan went as far as taping up his mouth in protest.

Aussie rules has long struggled with crowd behaviour, with boos and racist insults hurled at some of the sport's leading indigenous stars.

The AFL's McLachlan said he wanted to "get the balance right" between making events family friendly and allowing spirited support for teams.

"I apologise if the people who go along to the football to have a day out feel that they haven't been able to do that," he said.

"We want our fans to come to the footy and be themselves. Equally we want the men, women and children at our games to feel safe.

"No one at the AFL is trying to stop our crowds being passionate," McLachlan added, acknowledging that some fans thought the tactic was over the top.

Hawthorn Football Club president Jeff Kennett deepened the controversy by suggesting that some of the "behavioural awareness officers" were "new arrivals" to Australia.

The former conservative politician defended his comments and said he would not back down in the face of "some sort of bloody political correctness."

Your Thoughts and Comments