Stringent crowd control measures are being discussed for fans at the inaugural A-League derby between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC on Saturday.
The A-League’s security company Hatamoto wouldn’t discuss arrangements for the match, but it’s believed the Wanderers’ active supporters group (the Red and Black Bloc) will be held inside Parramatta Stadium for 30 minutes after the game.
Red and Black Bloc fans voiced their disapproval on a western Sydney football website saying any moves to hold back fans could inflame crowd troubles.
One fan dismissed the security arrangements as building [unnecessary] tension and stopping 2500 fans from exiting the stadium.
Football Federation Australia defended their security measures saying relevant strategies had been discussed with both sets of fan groups.
An FFA spokesman said there were many misconceptions reported about the game’s security measures.
‘‘This was just one of the claims made.’’
Head of A-League Damien de Bohun said the security plan for Saturday night is about the overall safety and enjoyment of all patrons.
"This is a sell-out game and we’ve taken all necessary steps to ensure a great night of football,” de Bohun said.
“The NSW Police, FFA, the two clubs and our security consultants have vast experience and expertise in this area. We won’t discuss the detail, but I can assure everyone the arrangements are based on best practice in Australia and overseas.”
A Wanderers club spokesman also assured supporters that fans would only be held back inside the stadium on a voluntary basis.
‘‘Security will be in place near the RBB only to ensure the safety of the group from away supporters,’’ the spokesman said.
‘‘The process of escorting the opposing team fans out of the stadium normally takes about 15 minutes.
‘‘This strategy for the derby is aimed to be a co-operative approach to ensure a safe and friendly experience is had by all spectators.’’