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Victory welcomes tougher laws

21 February 2013-AAP

Melbourne Derby Flares

Flares ... Victory officials don't want to see them. (Getty)

Melbourne Victory has welcomed tougher laws to crack down on hooligans at major sporting events, after Football Federation Australia banned three people for a total of 25 years for inappropriate actions at a recent A-League game.

Tougher penalties for hooligans at major Victorian sporting events will help reduce bad behaviour at matches, Melbourne Victory managing director Richard Wilson said.

Hooligans who light flares or invade the pitch will soon face fines of more than $1000 and bans for up to five years.

The tougher penalties are part of a draft law introduced into State Parliament on Wednesday.

Wilson said the club did not want a handful of people behaving badly to compromise the wonderful atmosphere at its games.

"These tough new penalties will be instrumental in heavily reducing incidents of anti-social behaviour occasionally seen at football games," he said.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said most sports fans were well behaved, and the minority spoiled the experience for others.

"There is no place for violent or destructive conduct at any sporting event in Australia and certainly not in Victoria," he said.

Police have recently been assaulted by fans at Melbourne Victory games, with Head of A-League Damien De Bohun confirming that three people had been banned for their part in recent incidents.

FFA isued a five-year ban, an eight-year ban and a 12-year ban to three individuals who "acted inappropriately ".

Unruly fans destroyed dozens of seats and lit flares at the Melbourne derby in February, leaving a damage bill of thousands of dollars.

Ticket scalpers will also be fined more than $700 under the proposed law.


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