Football Australia runs through video footage of the crowd at Saturday night’s Australian Cup final in Sydney after some fans ‘displayed the Hitler salute’.
The New South Wales Jewish Board of Deputies has called for sydney United 58 fans who displayed Nazi symbols and salutes during the game will be banned for life.
A record crowd of 16,461 gathered at Commbank Stadium to watch Macarthur FC beat Sydney United 58 2-0.
But the match was overshadowed when some Sydney United supporters booed the pre-match welcome to the country and the national anthem, sang fascist songsdisplayed symbols associated with the Ustaše and made Hitler salutes visible on camera.
The Ustaše was a fascist group that collaborated with the Nazis during World War II and participated in war crimes, ethnic cleansing and acts of genocide including the establishment of the Jasenovac concentration camp where Jews, Serbs, Roma, other minority groups and political opponents were murdered.
Jewish Council of State Deputies Chief Executive Darren Bark condemned the display of Nazi symbols and salutes during the game “in the strongest terms possible”.
“These dastardly symbols and salutes have no place in modern Australian society,” Bark said on Sunday.
“They represent the ultimate manifestation of evil – an evil that led to the murder of millions of innocent civilians during World War II, including 6 million Jews and thousands of Australian diggers who lost their lives fighting the Nazis.
“Improper conduct such as this causes immense distress to victims of Nazi crimes and their descendants, while undermining our cohesive multicultural society. The fact that the national anthem and welcome home was also booed last night underscores the contempt these people have for Australia and our diggers.
Football Australia said on Sunday it condemned “the actions of a small minority of individuals”, saying their behavior was “not in line with the values of Football Australia and the expectations of the wider community”.
“Football Australia took action during the match to address some isolated behavior by a small minority of individuals, including facilitating the sending off of eight people,” it said in a statement.
“Football Australia is today assessing all available footage and images of certain individuals of concern to our organization and the wider Australian rules football community, including the display of the ‘Hitler Salute’.”
The governing body said it was “working closely” with stadium management CommBank and NSW Police to determine “strong and swift action against any identified anti-social behavior that may also be considered illegal in the state. of NSW”.
NSW Police said they condemn anti-social and offensive behavior “whether in a public place or at an organized event”.
“NSW Police are aware of the incident and officers from Parramatta… are investigating,” the force said in a statement. “Anyone who wants to report a crime or has information about the incident is welcome to come forward.”
Former Socceroo Craig Foster called the crowd’s behavior “disgusting” and called everyone involved to account.
Bark said Football Australia must “take strong action” against any fan who took part while also working with Sydney United 58 to address supporter behaviour.
Sydney United was founded by Croatian immigrants in 1958.
The Guardian has contacted the club for comment.
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