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Think of the players, pleads Reds chairman

Soccer

UPDATED: Adelaide United chairman Greg Griffin says he understands why the club’s active supporter group will stage a walkout during Sunday’s home A-League clash with Perth, but wants protesting fans to think of the players.

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The Red Army will file out of Coopers Stadium half an hour into the match as part of a league-wide protest against Football Federation Australia (FFA).

Adelaide United confirmed early this afternoon the fixture will be delayed due to the forecast 40C heat, with the A-League match now scheduled to start at 7pm – a time that should ensure a bigger crowd.

But Red Army president Zoran Milojevic told InDaily: “Nothing has changed in terms of our intended actions.”

The walkout is a step short of the full-match boycotts planned by Western Sydney, Sydney FC and Central Coast.

The leaking and publication of names of 198 banned fans late last month sparked supporter protests and outcry from coaches, executives and players.

Milojevic said the group was against the gross breach of privacy and lack of a process for fans to appeal bans.

“It’s the failure of the FFA to advocate the best interests of our sporting code … it starts to become personal now, that underlying factor humanises the whole effect of our position,” Milojevic said.

The move came as FFA chairman Steve Lowy promised to review the fan ban appeals policy, though the confidentiality of damning evidence against fans remains an issue fraught with legal complexities.

Griffin expressed concern for the last-placed Reds, who are eight matches into the season without a single win and have their best shot at a breakthrough against second-last Glory.

“While we understand the Red Army’s position and stance on matters from earlier today, from the club’s perspective we do not want to see our players adversely impacted by the possibility of a smaller attendance at Coopers Stadium, especially at such a crucial time for us,” Griffin said in a statement.

-with AAP

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