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A-League crowds plummet as fans boycott

Soccer

Round nine A-League crowds were down 32 per cent from the previous week as fans made good on their promise to boycott games in protest against Football Federation Australia.

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A season low 40,406 fans made their way through the turnstiles for five matches – down from 59,255 in round eight.

Sydney FC, Wellington, Western Sydney, Adelaide and Central Coast all hosted fixtures.

The Mariners fared the worst with just over 4,500 turning up for the clash with Melbourne City – the second-lowest attendance in the club’s history.

In Adelaide, 6,205 fans came to the game before the Red Army walked out about 30 minutes for their home match against Perth on Sunday night. .

The left a banner stating “FFA: Can You Hear Us Now?” as fan anger continued despite football’s governing body pledging to review its controvesial fan ban process.

The actions came a day after Western Sydney’s Red and Black Bloc boycotted their home match against Brisbane Roar.

Straight-shooting Perth coach Kenny Lowe said his take on the controversial issue was simple.

“If the fans come to the game they have got to (be) responsible and do the right thing,” Lowe said.

“And then the FFA, make sure if they (fans) do anything, have got due process.

“And that is it. It’s not hard, I don’t think.

“But maybe I’m stupid, I’m a daft lad from Billingham in the north-east of England where we tend to speak as you should speak.”

Adelaide’s Red Army missed the bulk of their club’s first win – a 1-0 triumph over Perth – under new coach Guillermo Amor.

The Barcelona great said he couldn’t remember witnessing such fan action in his decorated playing career on Europe.

“We need to respect each other’s motives,” Amor said.

“Obviously we feel satronger with a full pitch, we need the support of our people, the more people we get in the stands the stronger we feel.

“Yes, I did notice at one point that they had left already but I respect their wishes.”

Representatives from all A-League club supporter groups plan to meet in Sydney this week amid ongoing controversy at the lack of an appeal process for spectators banned by the FFA.

AAP

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